Questions for the new Congress

Federal News Radio has come up with a list of unanswered questions for the new Congress that affect federal pay, benefits and how you do your job.

By Meg Beasley
Federal News Radio

As the 112th Congress convenes, incoming House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) said his party will stand by its pledge to reduce the deficit.

During the campaign season, Republicans vowed to find $100 billion in federal spending cuts. Though most promises of belt-tightening included exceptions for programs for the elderly, national security, military and veterans, Cantor said Tuesday that military cuts might not be off the table.

The military budget is not the only unresolved question from the last session of Congress. With incoming Republicans promising to reduce federal spending to fiscal 2008 levels, many areas will see reduced funding. How incoming lawmakers, especially those in the House, decide to achieve these cuts could have serious implications for federal workers.

Federal News Radio collected and came up with a list of questions that federal employees still need answers to. What other questions do you have? Send them to

  1. With President Obama already signing the two year pay freeze, will lawmakers go after other federal benefits?
  2. Will Republicans push for the hiring freeze they called for in “The Pledge to America?”
  3. Lawmakers last year called for furloughs to save money. Will feds face forced unpaid days off in 2011?
  4. Will cuts in technology spending slow or halt the movement toward cloud computing?
  5. Though cybersecurity has been a bipartisan priority, will Congress pass new FISMA legislation?
  6. Over the past year the administration identified 126 programs that could be reduced or eliminated. Will Congress accept all of these proposals and/or add more to the chopping block?
  7. How will incoming House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky) step up oversight of federal spending? What will go unfunded?
  8. Incoming House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) voiced support for the 2010 tax compromise, but what spending will he reduce to make up for the revenue lost to the tax cuts?
  9. How will new House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) address oversight issues other than repealing business regulations?
  10. What will be the priorities of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-N.C.), new chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending?
  11. How will proposed budget cuts effect contract spending?
  12. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed a three year pay freeze, reduction in workforce through attrition, reduced travel and vehicle budgets, sale of excess property, reduced pensions and changes to the Federal Employee Health Benefits program. Though the commission failed to garner enough support in the previous Congress, will any of its recommendations be taken up in 2011?
  13. Will Republican pledges to end all stimulus funding effect federal projects and workers?
  14. Will House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) try to reduce the number of contractors working for DHS?
  15. If military cuts are back on the table, are VA cuts fair game too? How will Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Chairman of the Committee on Veterans Affairs, manage the funding for the nation’s veterans?
  16. How worried should contractors be when it comes to federal spending cuts, especially around procurement?


Where do you think the 112th Congress will have the biggest impact on you and your agency?

Cuts to benefits?
Hiring freeze?
Cuts in technology spending?
New FISMA legislation?
Programs reduced or eliminated?
Impact on spending cuts on contractors? free polls

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