Unions seek answers on how debt default would affect feds

Congress, administration have until Aug. 2 to raise the nation's debt limit

A coalition of more than 20 federal employee and management organizations wants to know how the federal workforce would be affected if Congress fails to raise the nation’s debt limit at the start of next month.

In a letter sent July 15 to Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the coalition, the Federal-Postal Coalition posed the following questions:

“If the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2, will all department and agencies continue to remain operational, or will a government shutdown result? If so, what plans are in place to assure the continuity of government operations?
 
“How will the issue of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the G-Fund of the Federal Employees Retirement System be impacted, given the continued suspension of additional investments in these funds since May 16?


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“Will federal employees become subject to release through furloughs, and how will their wages and benefits be affected?”

The coalition also requested a meeting with Obama administration officials to discuss the answers to these and related questions as soon as possible.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union and one of the coalition’s member organizations, said in a statement, “A potential government default is fast approaching and the men and women of the federal workforce need and deserve answers about what that might mean for them and their agencies.”

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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