Browsing: sequestration

At MSPB, the furlough cases keep coming


Furlough-related appeals continue to pour into the Merit Systems Protection Board. As of this morning, the number of docketed appeals stood at 4,647, up about 50 percent  in a week. And that number doesn’t include another 4,587 cases that have been received but are not yet docketed—most of which are likely furlough-related as well, Clerk William Spencer said in an email. The surge temporarily knocked out the board’s electronic “e-Appeal” service a few times this week. It has also prompted the board to post the following message on its homepage: “Due to the unprecedented large volume of furlough appeals being…

Labor groups seek support for furlough-related amendments


Organized labor is urging a congressional committee to allow House members to vote on two amendments dealing with federal employee furlough policy when they take up a fiscal 2014 defense spending bill. One of the amendments would “register a vote of no confidence” in the Defense Department’s use of furloughs; the other would stop furloughs of DoD employees paid through working capital funds, according to a letter this week from William Samuel, head of the AFL-CIO’s government affairs department. The letter was addressed to leaders of the House Rules Committee, which acts as gatekeeper in deciding which amendments House members…

How are you helping your agency cut costs?


The sequester is here, and many federal employees are upset, frustrated and worried about the impact of severe budget cuts on their jobs and agencies. Some employees are leading efforts to help their agencies cut costs and potentially lessen the impact of anticipated sharp budget cuts. It may mean using cheaper printing paper, parking in a less expensive garage or conducting more meetings via the Internet. What are you or your colleagues doing to save money? Federal Times wants to hear from you. Please contact Nicole Johnson at or at 703-750.8145.

As sequestration looms, OMB tells agencies to detail plans for furloughs, contract cuts


With the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration set to begin Friday, the Office of Management and Budget posted new planning instructions to agencies this evening. The bottom line: It’s time to get specific. Agencies should detail the number of employees who will be furloughed, for how long and when furlough notices will be issued, OMB Controller Danny Werfel wrote. Agencies should also spell out any major contracts they plan to cancel, re-scope or delay. Ditto for grants. Federal Times will have more on this subject tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can read Werfel’s memo here.

Furlough fears: We want to hear from you


Federal Times would like to hear from federal employees about the upcoming furloughs that are looking more and more likely. How will losing 20 percent of your take-home pay — as might happen to most Defense Department employees — hit you and your family? What are you hearing from your managers? What is the threat of sequestration and furloughs doing for your office’s morale and productivity? E-mail Stephen Losey or Sean Reilly with your thoughts. If you’d like to stay anonymous, that’s fine.

GOP congressman scoffs at White House sequestration predictions


Last week, the Obama administration put out a “fact sheet” detailing the possible damage from sequestration, ranging from fewer FBI agents on the job to more homeless on the street. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., isn’t buying it. “This is Chicken Little time,” Price, vice-chairman of the House Budget Committee, said today in an interview following an appearance at the National Press Club. “I think that’s the kind of demagoguery that we see when people aren’t interested in true spending reductions. They always put the worst thing out there that affects people’s gut.” Price, who shared the podium with the budget…

Pentagon's Carter pledges to give up 20 percent of his pay


If sequestration goes into effect next month, many Defense Department employees are likely to be furloughed one day per week for the rest of the fiscal year — in effect, a 20 percent pay cut. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and other political appointees can’t be furloughed. But according to the Washington Times, Carter told lawmakers today that he is going to give back one-fifth of his salary if Defense civilian employees are furloughed. The Times called it “a show of solidarity.” Federal employees are, of course, not happy about the prospect of mass furloughs, and many observers fear it…

Unions blast plan to delay sequester by cutting feds


Federal employee unions on Wednesday swiftly denounced a Republican plan to delay the steep budget cuts known as sequestration by cutting the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and other GOP lawmakers proposed legislation that would put sequestration off by only allowing the federal government to hire one new employee for every three who leave. This would save about $85 billion, the same amount sequestration is supposed to cut for the rest of fiscal 2013. The American Federation…

Sequestration is delayed — what do you think?


Gosh, wasn’t the last month of planning for and arguing over the sequestration budget cuts a lot of fun? Guess what — we get to do it all over again! The fiscal cliff deal Congress passed New Year’s Day doesn’t do away with sequestration — it just delays it two months. Federal Times would like to hear your thoughts about the prospect of a delayed sequestration. How does this throw off your plans? What does the uncertainty mean for your projects? Are you angry that this mess has just been kicked down the road once again? Are you worried that…

Deficit reduction, Onion-style


Tired of hearing about one wonky proposal to avert sequestration after another? Trust us, you’re gonna want to read this one. The Onion yesterday published an eight-point plan to avert the rapidly-approaching fiscal cliff, and its editors are nothing if not confident. The editorial begins by declaring: “Those who reject any part of this plan are not only ignorant, but are also guilty of actively trying to undermine the nation and its government.” Their cuts would be brutal … and unique. The Onion proposes abolishing several agencies (such as the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency), New Mexico, dams,…

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