Broken Government: Super Committee Fails to Reach a Deal on Reducing Deficits, Major Fallout for Federal Workers Expected
Yesterday the Congressional Super Committee, a bipartisan group of 12 legislators tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in spending reductions by November 23rd, officially threw in the towel. You heard that correctly – two days before their deadline was reached they decided that burning the midnight oil to reach a deal was just too much work.
The results of their decision – or rather, the lack thereof – will have serious consequences for federal employees in the coming years. Without a deal to reduce deficits, the federal budget will now be subject to an automatic cut of roughly $1 trillion from federal agency budgets over the next decade. This automatic cut, known in Washington-speak as sequestration, will require half of the cuts to be made in domestic programs and the other half in the Department of Defense (DoD), starting January 1, 2013. Keep in mind that these cuts are coming on the heels of the $1 trillion that was already cut as part of the recent deal to raise the national debt limit.
“These cuts are totally unsustainable,” said NFFE National President Dougan. “There is no way federal agencies can sacrifice trillions in funding and continue to deliver quality services to the American people – the math simply doesn’t add up.”
The results of these massive spending cuts will be deeper than any the federal workforce has experienced in our lifetimes. VSIP’s, VERA’s, furloughs, and even workforce reductions will be the new norm at resource-starved agencies. Faced with cutting a total of $2 trillion from budget over the next ten years will be nearly impossible without dramatically reshaping the size, composition, and role of the federal workforce in this country. Without the people or resources to carry out their missions, key services will have to be diminished, delayed, or outright denied to the public who have come to rely on them.
“The failure of our elected representatives to come to an agreement and prevent draconian agency budgets cuts is simply a disgrace,” said Dougan. “The American people sent them to office to deliver solutions, not more of the same partisan grandstanding and obstinacy. Now the costs of their intransigence will fall squarely on the backs of federal workers and the public whom they serve. We deserve better.”
NFFE will continue to fight to prevent federal workers from bearing the brunt of Congress’ failure to reach a responsible deal. We and our brothers and sisters in labor are working together closer than ever before to defend the rights of hardworking, middle class federal employees. To do your part, visit our Legislative Action Center and contact your members of Congress today!