After months of short-term continuing resolutions and two government shutdowns that disrupted the livelihoods of millions of federal workers and the programs they serve, federal employees can now breathe a sigh of relief: President Trump signed Congress's $1.3 trillion spending bill, funding the government through September 2018.
AFGE won several victories with the omnibus spending package, including:
- A government-wide A-76 moratorium;
- Prohibiting base realignment and closure (BRAC) for both Department of Defense and VA facilities; and
- Prohibiting civilian caps, direct conversions, and contracting out without public-private competitions in the Department of Defense.
The spending bill also pushed back against the administration's proposals to gut domestic programs like the Environmental Protection Agency.
The bill isn't without problems, though. It fails to make investments in the VA to adequately serve our veterans and fill the 49,000 vacancies plaguing the system. It provides $12.9 billion to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which is a $480 million increase over last year. In addition, Congress expressed its “concern” that SSA may be reducing resources for field offices, and directed SSA not to close field offices for now
With funding secured through the end of September, government agencies can get to work on making long-neglected investments in our people, our programs, and our nation’s future – something that’s impossible when funding is in question.