Voices rise against coming cuts


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.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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

Show All Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group