Federal Workforce



Passing a Budget Resolution: It Ain’t Easy

Kenneth Gold | January 20, 2016

Like last year, when Republicans held majorities in both the House and the Senate, it’s generally assumed that Congress will pass a budget resolution this year.  House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) has stated he intends to write an FY17 budget resolution that will balance the budget in ten years. But even though Senate


It’s Not Over

Kenneth Gold | November 2, 2015

Many of the news stories that covered last week’s passage of the two-year, 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act had headlines similar to the Associated Press story titled “No shutdown, no default: Congress leaders, Obama back deal”.  And while the agreement is an enormous and widely unexpected accomplishment that does prevent the country from going into default,


Executive Orders v. Executive Actions

Susan Sullivan Lagon | February 27, 2015

Article II of the Constitution begins, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  The extent of that “executive power” has been debated since the beginning of the republic—indeed, even earlier.  The Founders were familiar with John Locke’s concept of “executive prerogative” (that certain circumstances call for the


Uncertainties Ahead for Federal Spending

Kenneth Gold | January 28, 2015

For federal departments and agencies, the most important issue in the First Session of the 114th Congress will be the shape of the FY16 congressional budget resolution, which will set the discretionary spending levels for the Appropriations Committees.  New House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price of Georgia recently told a Heritage Foundation Conference that he


Odds Are Against Another Government Shutdown, But…

Congress returns from its August recess next week, and is well positioned to conclude one of the least productive Congresses in modern history.  With less than a month before the next fiscal year begins, it would be reasonable to expect a flurry of activity surrounding last ditch efforts to pass at least some of the


Last One Out…

This week has been a big one for congressional retirements (Coburn, McCarthy, McKeon, McIntyre, Moran, Owens).  Many we have heard about, including half a dozen Members, for various reasons but at least one columnist has speculated that it is the working conditions.  Other departures have been more quiet as three senior House Appropriations Committee staffers


Congressional Staff Continue to be Punching Bag

This morning on WTOP’s morning program Rep. Andy Harris (MD-1) blamed the government shutdown on Democrats’ refusal to remove the “gold-plated” health care benefit from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  That’s the provision that allows the government to chip in for Members and their staff’s health benefits.  Interestingly, fellow Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, a sponsor


Update On Government Employee Benefit Loss

As I mused in my last post, one argument in Congress is not ONLY should Congressional staff receive a subsidy as they are moved out of FEHBP and into the Exchange, it has also become who else should be moved without an employer match.  According to a recent Robert Wood Johnson survey, slightly


Voting Against Defunding to Vote for Defunding: Cannibalism and the CR

The Senate’s procedural and strategic contexts may create an interesting irony for some Republicans this week. The Senate’s conservative Republicans may filibuster their own bill. If this seems like procedural cannibalism, it’s likely not. However, if they are successful, it may be unintended tactical cannibalism. Democratic Leader Harry Reid has repeatedly said that no continuing


Federal Gov Staff to lose FEHBP

During a Communicating and Working with Congress seminar Ken Gold and I were teaching last week, I brought to the attention of the class the prospect that congressional staff may seem a little more ornery than normal due to the fact that they may be losing their government health insurance.  While many of the Congressional


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