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Federal Employees News Digest : March 11, 2013
rary' employees," Bythrow told FEND. "Thousands of these term and temporary employees have already received fur- lough or layoff notices. DOD is taking extraordinary measures." Ongoing effort "We really do think the most effec- tive way is to push for change here is contacting---calling---your member of Congress," Bythrow said. "A lot of mem- bers make decisions about feds based on who is calling in---if you have a district that's heavy in federal employees, and federal employees are calling, you might think twice about voting against them. We are targeting [districts] with high concentrations of federal employees, and encouraging them to [stop] furloughs and the sequester." "Negotiations are ongoing," AFGE's Borer said. "We are continuing to work to push to reduce sequester's impact on one end, and on the other to push the White House and Congress to put an end to this nonsense once and for all." GOP continuing resolution preserves cuts The House on March 6 passed a continuing resolution to fund govern- ment operations until the end of fiscal 2013. While the bill preserves sequester cuts across most of the government, it also includes exceptions for items such as military pay, veterans affairs and national security. The bill also contains a provision to extend the civilian pay freeze. Proponents hope the bill will prevent a government shutdown March 27. The bill (H.R. 933), introduced several days earlier by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), also includes two other bills that provide a full year of defense and military con- struction/veterans affairs appropriations. An outline of the bill on the committee's website noted that those two bills passed the House last year and have been nego- tiated by both the House and Senate. The defense bill includes $127.5 bil- lion for military personnel and pay that is exempted from sequestration, includ- ing a 1.7 percent pay raise for the mili- tary. The military construction/veterans affairs bill includes $133.9 billion in dis- cretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, all of which is exempt from sequestration. The CR also contains exceptions aimed at preserving national security, including provisions to allow Customs and Border Protection and the FBI to maintain current staffing levels, and to provide additional funding for federal prisons, wildfire suppression and new weather satellites, among other things. The remainder of the continuing reso- lution holds most other funding at last year's levels, subject to sequestration cuts. "The House did the right thing today by passing this legislation," Rogers said after the bill's passage. "As we try to get our fiscal house in order, it's important to come together on issues where we can agree---avoiding a government shut- down, providing our people with essen- tial services, and supporting our troops and veterans." According to the committee, the bill "brings top-line overall rate of spending in the CR down to the sequestration level of approximately $984 billion." Labor says missions threatened The head of the National Treasury Employees Union on March 5 had urged Congress to reject the proposed CR, and said that freezing funding for most agen- cies at 2012 levels, and then cutting those levels, would compromise agency missions. "Many of these agencies, including those represented by NTEU, have faced funding reductions over the last few years that have seriously hampered their abil- ity to accomplish their missions," Kelley wrote in a letter to Congress, referring in particular to the Internal Revenue Service, Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration. "The additional 5 to 9 percent reduc- tion to agencies' budgets mandated by sequestration and included in H.R. 933 will only further impede the federal gov- ernment's ability to continue providing the critical services the American people rely on," she wrote. She also took aim at the bill's proposed pay freeze extension, noting that federal employees already had contributed $103 billion toward deficit reduction through the current pay freeze and increased pension contributions. To see more, go to: http://docs.house. gov/billsthisweek/20130304/BILLS- 113hr933ih.pdf, or http://appropria- tions.house.gov/news/documentsingle. aspx?DocumentID=321979. ••• In Brief Issa asks agencies to look for program cuts The head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this month asked agencies to begin looking for "unnecessary or wasteful programs" to cut as an alternative to the across- the-board spending cuts required by the sequester that started March 1. "We cannot avert sequestration with- out a plan to end the undisciplined and unsustainable federal spending that resulted in the sequester in the first place," committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said in a letter to the heads of 17 agencies. "It is time for the federal government to eliminate wasteful and duplicative programs, in addition to making reduc- tions in non-essential agency programs," the letter stated. In one such letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Issa said that his committee " has catalogued hundreds of recommendations from the community of inspectors general to reduce waste and March 11, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 32 4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued from page 3 continued on page 5
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