Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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Beat the clock

Well, today feds went off to work as usual. After lots of drama, no shutdown

Congress seems to have beaten the clock. Sort of. Although Congress and the president did announce in the waning hours of April 8 that they had agreed on a budget to fund the rest of fiscal 2011, it actually was a memo from the Office of Management and Budget that kept things legal as events crept just past the deadline.

And of course, President Obama stood firm on his decision to deny another continuing resolution. Sort of. While he wouldn’t agree to a CR like the half-dozen, weeks-long ones he’d signed earlier, he did agree to a CR that gives Congress a week to pass the remainder of the FY 2011 budget.

And everyone can heave a sigh of relief. Sort of. If you thought the fiscal 2011 budget was contentious, wait until the fighting starts over the fiscal 2012 budget. Republican leaders have said that the billions in cuts so far are just the opening shots in a longer battle to slash “trillions” in the years ahead.

And certainly one has to have a closer look at the final fiscal 2011 cuts when that budget bill actually, really, truly is passed. Feds were relieved Friday night when the CR was announced, but—as National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley noted in a statement that night after hearing the news—“at the same time, it is at the moment not clear which budget items would be cut under the broad agreement.”

In any event, a shutdown seems to have been averted. And you can get back to work for a while.

And if this all seems to have been a lot of stress over nothing, look at it this way: You’ve had a full-dress rehearsal for fiscal 2012.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Apr 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM


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