Budget

Voices rise against coming cuts

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Private-sector groups and federal employee labor unions are raising the urgency level in their warnings about the consequences of sequestration, which is set to commence March 1.

"Time's Up. Leadership Needed Now," reads the headline of a letter from the members of the Professional Services Council to President Barack Obama and Congress, released Feb. 26.

The same day, the president of one labor union said the effects of sequestration would go beyond federal employees' offices and into their homes. (See related story.) "These are not theoretical consequences,” Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employee Union, said. “These are actual, serious problems that real people will face."

And the Federal Workers Alliance, a coalition of 20 unions collectively representing more than 300,000 federal workers, started a message board recently so employees could share their stories on how sequestration and furloughs would hit them personally.

In its open letter, the Professional Services Council offered two suggestions to congressional leaders and the president for handling sequestration and avoiding fiscal uncertainties. The council said Congress, the administration and its agency officials should make strategic and collaborative reductions.

"There are enormous opportunities to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness to achieve meaningful outcomes across government, but it will not happen through sequestration," the group wrote.

PSC’s leaders wanted to voice their concerns that, after more than 18 months of anticipating sequestration, both branches of government have failed to act to stop it.

"The professional services industry understands the necessity and inevitability of federal spending reductions and accepts that it will feel its share of the associated pain," Stan Soloway, president and CEO of PSC, said in a statement. "But, in making those reductions, agencies should have the flexibility to do so strategically, collaboratively and holistically so as not to hurt mission execution."

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader comments

Wed, Feb 27, 2013

My only say on the topic at hand is if were cutting spending could you cut spending for all of us including congress, goverment, everyone. I was told once in my life that we Amarican's are united as one we stand and united as one we fight. When did we forget that?

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 Robert Hogan

Leadership, what leadership. Over 4 years and still no budget has been submitted by this President. Tax and spend and that did buy him the votes he needed to continue to drag this country down and divide this nation.. What a mess, nothing but a blame game and no responsibilty by either party. Could we please have a redo on that National Vote!! We are now all losers by default, polictical default that is!!! Good Grief we need help!

Wed, Feb 27, 2013

6F8BWhile federal employees bear the burden of 20% salary cuts, the "leaders" whose almost 200K salaries are not touched stand their ground. BS!!! When is someone going to have the balls to take away their posh salaries as part of Budget cuts??? Put them on a GS schedule and our insurance plans and make them a part of all the cuts we endure. Try it....we will like it.

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 Angry Tax Payer

Unfortunately, one party wants cuts in spending, long promised by the other party but never realized, and the other party wants to raise taxes even more. The overall hysteria over the coming sequestration has distorted what the cuts actually are and the 10 year department or agency goals under this "plan" are all lumped into the category of IMMEDIATE cuts. FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) are running rampant because no one can truthfully say what the March 1 deadline really means. The public distrusts government, government says the public lacks unerstanding, and noone has a firm grasp of what is going on.

Wed, Feb 27, 2013

What asking for Leadership now? Thought that was what we wanted in the election

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