As the government continues through a third day of shutdown, there has been no movement toward a continuing resolution, even after a Wednesday night meeting between President Obama and congressional leaders. Obama reasserted his position that he will not negotiate on either the continuing resolution or the debt ceiling.
Little progress has been made on re-opening federal agencies since a lack of funds for the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1 forced the government to furlough between a third and a half of its employees.
Speaking at the White House today, President Obama acknowledged that the rollout was flawed. "There are going to be some glitches in the signup process along the way that we will fix," he said. "There have been times this morning where the site has been running more slowly than it normally will." Some users also received error messages.
The House voted Sept. 20 to approve a continuing resolution that would fund the government below sequestration levels until Dec. 15 and strip the Affordable Care Act of funding. The CR (H.J. Res. 59) would fund the government at an annual rate $986.3 billion, less than the current fiscal 2013 post-sequestration amount of $988 billion.
President Obama nominated Suzanne Spaulding, the acting undersecretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate, to remain in that position permanently. Steve Bunnell, an attorney in private practice, is his nominee for DHS general counsel. They testified before a supportive Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Sept. 18.
House Republicans moved ahead with a continuing resolution that ties defunding of the Affordable Care Act to temporary government funding. A vote could come as early as Thursday, but will likely come Friday. The CR (H.J. Res. 59) would fund the government at an annual rate of $986.3 billion through Dec. 15, slightly less than the current fiscal 2013 post-sequestration amount of $988 billion and deny any funding to ACA implementation.
Agencies should prepare for a government shutdown by updating what programs would be exempt from a shutdown and which employees would be necessary for the agency's continued performance of those programs, a Sept. 17 Office of Management and Budget memo says. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged Wednesday to attach an amendment to the continuing resolution that would defund the Affordable Care Act.
Keeping the size and quality of the all-volunteer force should be the main priority, while being fiscally responsible should be the goal of reforming the military pay and benefits system, says a Sept. 12 letter from President Obama to Congress and the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission offering guidance on reforming the compensation and retirement system.
The White House announced Sept. 10 that it will nominate Beth Cobert as the new deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.
The federal workforce will have new per diem rates for travel in fiscal 2014, and they may soon receive a bump in pay and new rules for religious time off as well. On Aug. 30, the General Services Administration announced an increase in per diem rates of $6 for federal workers in the coming fiscal year.