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FMA, Sequestration, and Furloughs
As you prepare for administrative furloughs caused by sequestration, we feel it is vital that you are well informed about the work the Federal Managers Association (FMA) has done to combat deep, disruptive cuts. FMA worked with Members of Congress and the Administration for almost two years on this problem, informing leaders how these harmful cuts will affect federal managers and the federal workforce, and we continue to pursue efforts to mitigate negative effects.
When lawmakers approved the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25) in August 2011, the threat of onerous, across-the-board budget cuts was considered so detrimental to the nation’s economy that Members of Congress and the President would compromise on a bargain to avoid them. Regrettably, decision makers failed to reach an agreement and the order for automatic cuts through the process of sequestration was implemented on Friday, March 1, 2013. Federal departments and agencies must reduce $85 billion in defense and domestic spending throughout the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013.
The Federal Managers Association (FMA) generated several action letters for our members to send directly to their Senators and Representatives, and wrote every Member of Congress to urge a balanced solution to sequestration. FMA is disappointed Congress and the President could not put politics aside to develop a reasonable alternative to address the budget deficit. Blindly hacking at defense and domestic spending is not the prudent method of gaining control of our nation’s finances.
As the sequester continues, the impact will be immeasurable and damaging to our nation’s economy and services.
Government Executive compiled a comprehensive list of how the sequester and furloughs affect federal agencies, including furlough days and statements from department leaders. The list is updated as necessary, and can be found here.
· Furloughs and budget cutbacks imperil the nation’s defense and other critical, congressionally mandated missions, as services and resources are unavailable or run on reduced capacity.
· Furloughs will result in a reduction of services to the American public, as federal employees are not available to provide them. This will create painful backlogs for taxpaying citizens, such as increased wait times for social security benefits and tax returns, and delays in travel safety screening and travel times.
· A furlough of one day a week amounts to a twenty percent cut in pay for federal employees, and may also have a detrimental effect on our fellow middle-class American taxpayers, jeopardizing their mortgage, childcare and car payments, and their ability to meet rising healthcare costs. Further, the financial impact of furloughs may negatively affect employees’ security clearances to perform their jobs.
· The dramatic reduction in discretionary spending will have an adverse effect on local communities, particularly in rural areas where a military installation or other federal activity is the primary driver of the local economy.
· This reduction in pay will harm morale, recruitment and retention, weakening our federal government’s ability to attract and keep the best and brightest employees.
FMA Efforts on Sequestration and Furloughs
Below is a listing of work FMA and its members have done to combat sequestration and the deep cuts it causes. While this list does not address every action FMA has taken to limit the effects of sequestration, it covers major actions of the association and will be updated as appropriate.
FMA RESPONDS TO DOD'S REDUCTION IN FURLOUGH DAYS - August 6, 2013
FEDERAL-POSTAL COALITION SPEAKS OUT AGAINST DOD FURLOUGHS - July 25, 2013
FMA'S DORA QUINLAN AND GREG DANIELS ADDRESS DOD FURLOUGHS - July 17, 2013
FMA'S DORA QUINLAN SPEAKS OUT ON EFFECTS OF FURLOUGHS - July 11, 2013
FMA THANKS SECRETARY OF NAVY FOR WORK TO DIMINISH FURLOUGHS - April 17, 2013
FMA ISSUES PRESS RELEASE ON SEQUESTRATION - March 1, 2013
FMA CHAPTER 125 HOLDS TOWN HALL ON EFFECTS OF SEQUESTRATION - February 28, 2013
FMA'S NIEHAUS APPEARS ON DC FOX 5, SPEAKING OUT ON SEQUESTRATION - February 19, 2013
FMA TELLS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO VOTE AGAINST SEQUESTRATION AND SUPPORT FEDS - February 13, 2013
FEDERAL-POSTAL COALITION WARNS SUPER COMMITTEE ON SEQUESTRATION CUTS - September 28, 2011
FEDERAL-POSTAL COALITION WRITES PRESIDENT ON SEQUESTRATION - September 15, 2011
FMA WRITES TO MEMBERS OF SUPER COMMITTEE ON SEQUESTRATION AND FEDS - August 29, 2011