The strict budget constraints placed on the Internal Revenue Service are crippling efforts to conduct the most basic levels of public service, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller wants new ways to punish SES members accused of misconduct, including possible pension reductions, limits on paid leave. He also wants to curtail VA’s bonus award system.
Now that the final votes have been counted in the 2014 midterm elections, Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said she’s hoping that some new members will fight for the interests of government workers.
Republican leaders plan to pass a short-term funding bill this week to extend by three days the deadline for wrapping up a massive, $1 trillion-plus catch-all spending bill covering funding for the rest of the year. The short-term measure would give lawmakers until midnight next Saturday to pass the larger funding bill. The current stopgap funding bill expires at midnight on Wednesday.
The bipartisan budget deal announced this week goes a long way toward clearing up the widespread budget uncertainty that has plagued federal agencies for the last two years. But it doesn’t actually set individual agency funding for next year. That’s the job of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the leaders of whom now must write an official spending bill that spell out exactly how much each agency gets to spend next year and on what. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House committee, said Thursday he would begin work on an omnibus spending bill to fund agencies next year.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, took to the Senate floor this week calling on House-Senate budget negotiators to look at replacing the across-the-board sequestration cuts for at least two years.
The House voted unanimously late Tuesday to pass the Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) Tuesday afternoon, ensures “essential” federal employees, who are working through the shutdown, are paid on time even if the government remains closed.
The House Appropriations Committee unveiled a stopgap spending measure late Tuesday that would fund agencies slightly below current budget levels through Dec. 15. The bill gives agencies some additional spending flexibilities and includes a measure that could help agencies stave off furloughs in the first few months of fiscal 2014.
The embattled Internal Revenue Service faces a 24 percent cut to its budget next year, under a spending plan introduced by the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday. The IRS funding was included in the committee’s Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which also includes funding for the Treasury Department, the General Services Administration and the Executive Office of the President. The subcommittee is set to mark up the proposal Wednesday.
The annual appropriations process is a complex and arduous Washington practice. But sequestration has snarled the process this year. As appropriators work to set agency funding, the House and the Senate disagree about how to account for the cuts in next year’s spending plans.