No Christmas Eve Off for Federal Employees

No Christmas Eve Off for Federal Employees

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Federal employees will report for a full day of work Tuesday, with the Obama administration opting not to give any extra time off for Christmas Eve.

The decision does not come as a surprise. It is “consistent with historical precedent when Christmas has fallen on a Wednesday,” an official at the Office of Personnel Management told Government Executive. “The government has remained open on Christmas Eve for six of the last nine times since 1946 that Christmas Day has fallen on a Wednesday.”

One of the recent exceptions was 2002, when President George W. Bush gave feds a half day off on Tuesday, Dec. 24. Continue reading “No Christmas Eve Off for Federal Employees”

Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

"I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP

Don’t expect the relative fiscal peace on the Hill engendered by the budget deal to last for long. Top Republicans are already looking ahead to the next fight: the debt ceiling.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Continue reading “Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner”

Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

NJ Daily

Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

 

(Chet Susslin)

By , and December 10, 2013

After weeks of closed-door talks, House and Senate negotiators finally unveiled a two-year budget deal Tuesday that attempts to calm the long-fought feud over spending on Capitol Hill. But the question remains whether they can sell it to rank-and-file lawmakers.

The deal is far from a grand bargain. But if approved by the House and Senate, the compromise would not only keep government funded and open beyond Jan. 15, but also would provide $63 billion in sequester relief over two years—all without new tax revenue.

“This is the first divided-government budget agreement since 1986,” said House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, the chief Republican negotiator. Continue reading “Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?”

Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions

Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions

“One of the most difficult challenges we faced as we worked through this, was the issue of federal employees and military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., during a press conference with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
“One of the most difficult challenges we faced as we worked through this, was the issue of federal employees and military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., during a press conference with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

New federal employees and military retirees would have to contribute more to their pensions under the bipartisan deal the congressional budget conference committee unveiled Tuesday evening.

Federal workers hired on or after Jan. 1, 2014, with less than five years of service would have to pay 4.4 percent toward their defined retirement benefit — 1.3 percent more than the current 3.1 percent that employees hired after 2012 contribute.

Military retirees under the age of 62 would see a decrease, phased-in over the next two years, to the calculation of their cost-of-living adjustment, equal to inflation minus 1 percent. “This change would be gradually phased in, with no change for the current year, a 0.25 percent decrease in December 2014, and a 0.5 percent decrease in December 2015,” according to a summary of the deal. The change would not affect service members who retired because of injury or disability. Continue reading “Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions”

Optimism Persists for Budget Deal. Is It Real?

Optimism Persists for Budget Deal. Is It Real?

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., the cochair of the conference committee, returned to Washington Tuesday even with the Senate still in recess.
Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., the cochair of the conference committee, returned to Washington Tuesday even with the Senate still in recess. Carolyn Kaster/AP file photo

With just 10 days before the budget conference committee must report its recommendations to Congress, signs of movement in the ongoing negotiations are appearing in the halls of the Capitol.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., the cochair of the conference committee, returned to Washington Tuesday even with the Senate still in recess, an indication that the talks are ramping up ahead of the committee’s Dec. 13 deadline.

Murray is frequently reaching out to other Democratic conferees. She spoke with House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., on Monday night and planned to speak with him again Tuesday night or Wednesday, Van Hollen said.

Continue reading “Optimism Persists for Budget Deal. Is It Real?”