Federal Managers Association
- CONGRESS FUNDS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH DECEMBER 11
After weeks of uncertainty and threats of another government shutdown, Members of Congress were able to agree upon a short term spending plan that would fund federal departments and agencies through December 11, 2015. The voted upon continuing resolution (CR) keeps funding levels stagnant, allowing for federal employees to continue fulfilling congressionally-mandated missions and goals. In a letter to members of Congress before the CR passed, the Federal Managers Association (FMA) reminded elected officials that the last federal government shutdown delayed needed services to the American public, denied federal workers a paycheck for sixteen days, and cost the national economy $24 billion. The Senate agreed to the spending measure in a vote of 78-20, and the House voted in favor of it 277-151.
In a press release from FMA National President Patricia Niehaus, she expressed concern on not utilizing the appropriations process to develop a federal spending plan. By using CRs, Congress cannot determine the needed financial resources of federal departments and agencies, and federal managers are handcuffed to short term planning. “A sustainable federal government cannot exist on stopgap funding,” she stated. She further commented on the overall impact on continual threats of a shutdown on the morale of the federal workforce. “The recent results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey show that only 64 percent of the federal workforce feel engaged and are satisfied with their job. While this is up one percent from last year, it is evident that many federal workers are frustrated. A government shutdown would compound this problem.”
By December 11, when the current CR will run out, Congress will have to also negotiate deals for extending the debt ceiling while also determining the next spending plan. During a press conference on October 2, President Barack Obama announced, “I will not sign another short-sighted spending bill like the one Congress sent me this week.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated he would like to see a two-year budget deal that brings levels above sequestration caps.
To read the full press release from FMA, please visit the Media section of the FMA website, www.fedmanagers.org.