Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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The deadline cometh

One begins to wonder how many D-Days can be packed into a single year.

After all the potential “government shutdown” deadlines resulting from a seemingly endless series of short-term continuing resolutions to fund the federal government earlier this year, feds now face the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

As probably even smallest child knows by now, a failure to come to an agreement by that time would force the federal government into default where it can no longer afford to pay its bills.

The federal government would no longer be able to write many of the 70 million checks it sends out every month (or 80 million, depending on who one listens to), and the government’s credit rating probably would be downgraded. And all heck would break loose for Social Security recipients, Medicare beneficiaries and others, to name a few.

What has largely been a procedural vote in years past has turned into an ideological tug-of-war this year. The political parties in Congress apparently have failed to do their job to bring holdouts into line to reach a mutual solution that will survive a presidential veto. And stand-fast budget cutters in the House continue to block any compromise on the issue, perhaps forgetting (or never having known) that the legislative process is all about compromise.

While a lot of the recent topline news on the debt ceiling has centered on what has been going on in Congress and the White House, we have heard less about what is going on in federal agencies.

So we ask: What is the official line at your agency? What’s the talk around the water cooler? And how are you taking all of this?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jul 28, 2011 at 4:02 PM


Reader comments

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 DC

@ Ammo Joe – In any case, the issue right now is the Debt Ceiling which is still not the same thing as the Budget, so I’m not sure how your response applies.

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 DC

@ Ammo Joe – The President did submit a Budget. But it is still true that this Budget is simply a suggestion, as I stated, because the House & Senate will make any and all changes they want to it or disregard it entirely, which they did this year. The Budget still has to go through the legislative process as does any other bill until it is signed. Therefore the blame still lies with Congress to do their jobs.

Fri, Jul 29, 2011

It seemed back in April there was quite a bit of gossip about a possible furlough, and the media certainly didn't help my nerves. This time around, not even half as much talk. No emails as of yet, and more likely then not one won't be sent out until late Monday if something isn't decided before then. Even if there is a furlough we still have to go in for a few hours the next day for "shutdown preparation," so until that happens my focus is on my work and not media-hyped gossip when the media honestly has no idea what will be decided Aug 2nd.

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 Helena, MT

I just read another fool's comment poking blame on the Dems again with a "Lefts MO" jab over borrowing and spending. Let's be fair, let's be clear, and let's be honest. It is BOTH sides of the aisle at fault over this budget/debt mess. The GOP have mismanaged the budget and overspent the country into oblivion just as every bit if not more than the LEFT--under Reagan and the two Bushes, this country experienced record deficits and debt that tripled and quadrupled. The Reagan administration remarked that "deficits are of no concern". Even VP Cheney reassured the nation by calling up Reagan's comments that "deficits don't matter" when under his and Bushes leadership they cut taxes and launched a major spending spree that involve two wars. How smart is that? Now all of a sudden deficits have become a major crises. I've been watching it go on for decades how the hypocrits on the RIGHT, whom I once voted for because they promised cuts in spending and improved management of the nation's fiscal house, went the other direction. Don't tell me one party is more fiscally responsible than the other. They all spend tax $$ on their own districts when it's politically--not fiscally--correct!

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 Stang HSV

The only thing that has been said at this time is "there will be no RIfs as a result of the budget crisis". Wow! Just like April, no one knows anything!

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