The Deal’s Done: What’s in the Budget Agreement

The Deal’s Done: What’s in the Budget Agreement

by Jessica Schieder, 10/30/2015

Early this morning, the Senate passed a two-year budget deal, that President Obama is expected to sign soon.  It would:

  • Avoid a government shutdown this December
  • Partially alleviate across the board cuts for two years, and
  • Avoid a government default by lifting the debt ceiling through March of 2017.

The government will stay open.

The federal government’s fiscal year begins on October 1st every year. This year—as has often occurred in recent years—Congress had not agreed to the federal government’s operating budget before that date. To avoid a government shutdown, a short-term continuing resolution (or “CR”) was passed, which kept the federal government’s budget on cruise-control until December 11. This gave legislators extra time to find a consensus and avoid a government shutdown.

Since the beginning of October, legislators have been working behind the scenes to strike a deal that would also be acceptable to the White House. The deal they reached sets up a budget framework, but legislators still have significant details to work out. Disagreements over how funding is distributed between programs and the addition of ideological policy riders (i.e. limiting environmental regulation) could pose a threat to the deal.

Continue reading “The Deal’s Done: What’s in the Budget Agreement”

White House, GOP strike budget deal

White House, GOP strike budget deal

By Alexander Bolton and Sarah Ferris – 10/26/15 08:28 PM EDT

Senior White House officials and congressional leaders have struck a deal to raise the debt limit and set the federal budget for the next two years, say sources familiar with the talks.

The deal would extend the debt ceiling to March 2017 and bust budget limits set by a 2011 agreement that imposed a decade of reduced spending known as sequestration on the government.

It would raise those caps by a total of $112 billion in fiscal 2016 and 2017, according to a person briefed on the agreement.

Those funds would be divided equally between defense and nondefense spending, charting a compromise between Republican defense hawks pushing for more Pentagon spending and Democrats who wanted more spending on domestic programs as well. Continue reading “White House, GOP strike budget deal”

Budget Deal Spares Feds’ Pay and Benefits

Budget Deal Spares Feds’ Pay and Benefits

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner is pushing toward a vote on the budget deal even though it is not popular with conservatives.
Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner is pushing toward a vote on the budget deal even though it is not popular with conservatives. Lauren Victoria Burke/AP

The two-year budget agreement unveiled Monday night spares federal employees’ pay and benefits, raises the debt limit and provides some relief from sequestration.

Congressional leaders and the White House rolled out a proposed budget deal for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 that does not contain any provisions targeting the pay or benefits of the federal workforce. Previous budget agreements have not been so favorable for feds: For instance, the 2013 deal increased the amount new government hires must contribute to their pensions.

“We hope our leaders in Washington are learning, finally, that they cannot balance the budget on the backs of federal workers and retirees,” said National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Richard Thissen. The National Treasury Employees Union said it was “relieved” that the budget deal addressed funding “without requiring the federal workforce to make additional sacrifices.”

Continue reading “Budget Deal Spares Feds’ Pay and Benefits”

Federal Employee Morale Hits Record Low

Federal Employee Morale Hits Record Low

Posted: 12/17/2013 11:59 pm EST  |  Updated: 12/18/2013 11:07 am EST

WASHINGTON — Budget cuts and forced furloughs have taken a toll on federal workers, with job satisfaction at a record low in a new government-wide survey.

“We are dismantling the capability of our government by the way it’s being managed, and the people in government are giving that message back. … It should be really worrisome to anyone who cares about our country,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, which produced a report on the survey.

The Office of Personnel Management surveys workers across the government annually about their satisfaction at work. This year, nearly 400,000 people participated from April through June, just as sequestration’s furloughs were hitting many workers.

Using the data compiled by OPM, PPS and the consulting firm Deloitte issued their annual “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report Wednesday, finding “troubling” responses. Continue reading “Federal Employee Morale Hits Record Low”

EEOC Avoids Second Round of Furloughs

EEOC Avoids Second Round of Furloughs

Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Jacqueline Berrien
Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Jacqueline Berrien Charles Dharapak/AP File Photo

Employees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will not face a second round of furlough days this fiscal year, the agency announced on Thursday.

EEOC has already required workers to take five days of unpaid leave due to budget cuts under sequestration; its chief financial officer concluded an additional three days would not be necessary, Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien said in a July 11 all-staff memorandum. Continue reading “EEOC Avoids Second Round of Furloughs”