End of July/early August, Congress and the White House took a vacation.
No 2015 Budget
No Transportation Infrastructure Investment Bill
No Immigration Reform
No…whatever might be your favorite topic.
My favorite topics, as you may have noticed include federal employees, their agencies, and the issues and regulations that impact them and our nation. I also am pretty partial to transportation infrastructure investment because I believe this to be key to a stable U.S. economy and critical for the economic well being of all who live, eat, work, shop and have to just get around in their communities every day.
It would be good if when Congress comes back to work that they actually work. Blaming each other is not work. That’s campaigning. That’s easy. Making honorable decisions that may be unpopular or compromising is tough. But that is leadership.
One bright spot is that federal civilian employees and the military may see a 1% pay raise in January 2015. You may not agree with this or you may not think this is much of an increase. Both sides have good points. However, I sit on the side of the increase. Why?
As many of you may not know, federal employee grades in their current form are falling. What do I mean by this? Those individuals doing the same or similar jobs a few years ago, are performing this work for less money/lower grades now. Even worse, they are required to have more education in many of these instances.
Talk to your federal worker neighbors. They will tell you this is true, if they are not the managers who are making this happen.
A must read is a Washington Post article in the Sunday, August 31, 2014 Outlook section entitled ” Want better, smaller government? Hire a million more workers.” Sounds ridiculous but take a look at it with an open mind.
Also, please don’t forget that a federal 2015 budget must be in place or the current version extended by October 1, 2014 or there could be another government shutdown. I don’t think this will happen in an election year. There will probably be a continuing resolution to maintain government spending at current levels for a specific time.