The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association came out today with a simple plea to Congress: Keep working.
“I am respectfully asking all members of Congress to holster their blame-pointing fingers, and get back to the table to come up with a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that won’t debilitate federal law enforcement,” FLEOA President Jon Adler said in a news release.
That appeal comes as lawmakers are preparing to trade Capitol Hill for the campaign trail as early as this weekend, with no plans to be back before mid-November. That will be almost two months in which they won’t be working to avert across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect Jan. 2. Those cuts would vaporize about $109 billion from agency budgets next year, including more than $3 billion in law enforcement funding, according to a recent White House report.
To avert the reductions, lawmakers and the Obama administration will have to come up with a way of reducing future federal budget deficits by $1.2 trillion through 2021. The assumption is that a deal will get done, but, of course, no one really knows for sure.
Adler’s also a bit frustrated with the Executive Branch. FLEOA claims members in 65 agencies and, to date, he said in an interview, none of those agencies has explained how they would handle the cuts, formally known as sequestration. The only official Office of Management and Budget guidance, which came out in July, told agencies to keep spending at normal levels “since more than five months remain for Congress to act.”
To Adler, that’s like burying your head in the sand and hoping “the wave doesn’t sprinkle your backside.
“That’s not the way to prepare for a worst-case scenario.”