September 30, 2015

Tim Kauffman

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Shutdown Clock Restarts as Congress Punts

Categories: Washington, D.C., Congress, Workers' Rights

Federal union leader demands full-year funding, end of sequestration 

WASHINGTON – Federal employees face 10 more weeks of needless worry and uncertainty thanks to a vote by Congress to keep the government running only until Dec. 11, the head of the largest federal employee union said today.

“The only thing Congress accomplished by averting a government shutdown was postponing a crisis it created in the first place,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

“In 10 weeks, we will be back here again unless Congress does its job and fully funds the federal government for the coming year.”

Passing next year’s budget is just one part of the battle facing Congress. The across-the-board budget cuts called for under sequestration will kick in unless Congress lifts those spending caps.

“Congress must repeal sequestration – no ifs, ands, or buts,” Cox said. “These indiscriminate cuts will be catastrophic, not just to federal programs and services but to the American economy.”

Half of the cuts are aimed at the Department of Defense. DoD already is taking drastic measures to cut spending – mainly on the backs of hardworking civilian employees – and military leaders have warned that additional cuts will cripple our nation’s defense capabilities.

The other half of the cuts would hit our domestic agencies – which already are operating with bare-bones budgets.

“If sequestration continues, basic programs and services that Americans count on will be in jeopardy – things like applying for Social Security benefits, getting loans for new houses or small businesses, and ensuring our food and water supply is safe,” Cox said.

“Congress needs to end sequestration and provide federal agencies with enough resources to continue to deliver the programs and services that Americans rely on,” Cox said.

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