Newsletter: January 23, 2013

Volume | Issue 41
Debt Ceiling Extension Likely to Pass; No Federal Pay Freeze

By Ken Gold, Director

Later today the House will vote on a plan to effectively lift the debt limit for four months, removing, or at least postponing, the threat of default.  The bill, HR 325, temporarily extends the debt limit without seeking any concessions on spending, and allows Republicans a way to avoid having to actually cast a vote to raise the debt ceiling.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated he won’t oppose the plan, and the Obama administration has already indicated it will sign the bill.


Upcoming GAI Course(s):

The New Congress

February 21, 2013

The New Congress is a one-day course offered on Capitol Hill following the biennial congressional elections. This course is intended to offer an examination of the implications of election outcomes with regard to congressional organization and leadership, the legislative agenda, and prospects for key legislative-executive branch issues.


Congressional Operations Seminar

February 4 – 8, 2013

This five-day course provides a comprehensive look at congressional processes and organization, and at how Congress affects the daily operations of every department and agency in the executive branch. Like most Government Affairs Institute courses, the Congressional Operations Seminar is conducted on Capitol Hill in order to provide a first-hand understanding of congressional processes and procedure, as well as the “culture” that is the United States Congress.


Director’s Desk

Despite the postponement of H.R. 273 (see accompanying newsletter), some fiscal hawks are unlikely to abandon their assault on federal pay. During the last Congress Republicans proposed several bills that would have extended the federal pay freeze up to five years, as well as proposals to prohibit feds from receiving within-grade step increases. Just this week, Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) proposed an amendment to the Sandy disaster relief bill that would have paid for $17 billion in assistance with a 1.63 percent across-the-board cut in FY13 discretionary federal spending, and an end to mass transit benefits for feds. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the .5% pay increase that was proposed in the President’s executive order late last year would cost $11 billion. Although House and Senate Democrats have opposed extending the pay freeze, attempts to cut federal pay will no doubt continue to be included in attempts to rein in the deficit for some time to come.
-Ken Gold



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