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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct 14, 2013
and harder decisions when it comes to their crucial civilian workforce as this goes on. This uncertainty is spectacular- ly unhealthy when it comes to national security." "It's not just about uniformed military and DOD. What's going on with the intelligence agencies, and what's going on with non-traditional security threats like pandemic diseases like H1N1?" Breen asked. "Think about this too: Is the CDC, under the shutdown, going to be able to track the next threat?" Breen asked. "If the next H1N1, or swine flu, or SARS kicks off---are we going to know in time? Or could it be too late? Every American ought to be thinking about this. This all has impact on national security. The agencies that deal with those threats are also greatly impacted." "I can tell you I also have friends who are working in intelligence who are not working right now," Breen added. "That makes me very nervous, too. And think about it---finally---there's also the fact that none of these people are getting paid right now. That affects people's work---and ought to make all of us very nervous." Breen's greatest worry? "What worries me the most is that every time you walk through a metal detector at an airport or federal building right now in the United States, the person operating it isn't getting paid," Breen said. "That's true of the metal detectors that Congress walks through---and the Capitol Police, they're not getting paid either." House-passed pay bills on hold The House unanimously passed two bills to ensure federal employees are paid, but each faces snags to implemen- tation. The House on Oct. 8 passed the Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act (H.J. Res. 89), which would pay on time--- without waiting for the government to reopen---those federal employees who are not furloughed and continue to work through the shutdown. The bill, introduced by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), passed the house 420-0. However, the legislation would be tied to another bill, the Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act (H.R. 3273), introduced by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), which would establish a bicameral working group on deficit reduction and economic growt h, an entity based on the supercommit- tee established by the Budget Control Act. It was that previous supercommit- tee's failure to come to an agreement on spending that resulted in the imple- mentation of the sequester. While most Democratic lawmak- ers and labor groups, including the American Federation of Government Employees, support H.J. Res. 89, they oppose its merger with the Sessions bill. "Making federal employees and their families whole, despite the lengthy lapse in appropriations, is one of the few things that the Republican House, the Democratic Senate, and the White House all support," AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten wrote in a letter to House members. "The last thing anyone should do is make that support contingent on resolving seem- ingly intractable issues that have caused the political stalemate over the budget." The White House also weighed in on the bills, saying that the president would veto the legislation if it reached his desk. "The administration strongly oppos- es House joint passage of H.J. Res. 89 and H.R. 3273, which does nothing to solve the immediate, pressing obliga- tions the Congress has to open the government and pay its bills," the White House said in a statement. continued from page 3 October 13, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 13 4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued on page 5 FederalDaily launches forum for furloughed feds FederalDaily and a group of other government-focused publications have launched a new online forum aimed at giving furloughed federal workers a platform where they can share their talents, skills and potentially profitable hobbies. You'll find it on FederalSoup, a free online community of about 60 topic-focused forums dedicated to active and retired federal employees, which provides members with a place to exchange information about events, benefits, career planning and all of the ins-and-outs of working in federal government. FederalSoup's newest forum---Furlough Freelancing---launched Oct. 3, offers feds a place specifically created to connect them with employers seeking to tap their talents during the government shutdown and beyond. Feds can pitch their skills or add links to a public resume page where potential employers looking for freelance talent can find them. (Furloughed federal employees are reminded that even during a furlough, they still must adhere to the ethical standards and regulations concern- ing outside employment that govern them when they are actively employed.) A feature report in FCW, a sister publication of FederalDaily, titled "Moonlight might feel right, but ask first," discusses any potential issues feds should consider before accepting a free- lance gig during the shutdown. Other FederalDaily sister publications -- Defense Systems, GCN and Washington Technology -- also have joined in on the promotion of the new forum. Explore the forum at: https://federalsoup.federaldaily.com/forum_topics. asp?FID=62&title=furlough-freelancing. See the FCW article at: http://fcw.com/arti- cles/2013/10/03/furloughed-feds-moonlighting.aspx. Also see other 1105 publications tracking the effects of the furloughs at http://www.defensesystems.com/Home.aspx, http://gcn.com/ Home.aspx, and http://washingtontechnology.com/Home.aspx.
Oct 7, 2013
Oct 21, 2013