By: Danielle LeClair
By: Danielle LeClair

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LIUNA Federal Employee Lobby Week Training March 19 2013 Lobbying on Sequestration Introduction What is sequestration How does sequestration affect federal workers How to lobby on sequestration ID: 541713 Download Presentation

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By: Danielle LeClairLIUNA Federal Employee Lobby Week TrainingMarch 19, 2013

Lobbying on SequestrationSlide2


What is sequestration?

How does sequestration affect federal workers?

How to lobby on sequestrationSlide3

1. What is sequestration?

History - Summer 2011 – Congress was about to hit the debt ceiling

Came to a deal

GOP would allow increase on debt ceiling in exchange for steep budget cuts next 10 years

Budget Control Act of 2011 passedSlide4

What is the Budget Control Act (BCA)?

Compromise – Budget Control Act (BCA) was passed

Extended debt limit to

2013 (


May 19)

Nearly $1 trillion in

immediate deficit


Process for long-term balanced deficit reduction of $1.5 trillion in tax and entitlement reform

Enforcement mechanism that would compel painful spending cuts

Super Committee


Super Committee

Official Name: Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

Members – 12 total

6 House – 3 GOP, 3 Dem

6 Senate – 3 GOP, 3 Dem

Purpose – to develop a deficit reduction plan of $1.5 trillion over 10 years (beyond the $900+ billion in cuts in the BCA)

Threat of DOD and non-DOD cuts was supposed to compel Super Committee to get a deal by December 23, 2011.

Sword of Damocles – was supposed to prevent sequestration

Defense – 50% - GOP priority (but not Tea Party)

Non-Defense – 50% - Dem priority

What Happened: November 21, Super Committee ended its work stating it could not reach a deal.Slide6


Under the BCA, since the Super Committee did not reach a budget deal, sequestration would automatically kick in January 2013.

What is sequestration?

$1.2 trillion in budget cuts would happen automatically (known as sequestration).

Congress voted earlier this year to postpone sequestration until March 1, 2013, when it went into effect. Slide7

Sequestration exemptions

Social Security


Veterans Benefits and pensions – and all VA employees

Payments to Federal retirement funds – FERS, CSRS, SAE

Civilian and military pay

Does not mean there can’t be an extended pay freeze

Does not mean feds can’t be furloughed (cut in pay)

Child nutrition



2. Sequestration – how does it affect federal workers?

Agencies have to find cost savings – between 5-10% of the Agency budget

Agencies can consider taking the following actions affecting workers to find cost savings:

Furloughs – agencies can choose to furlough workers up to 22 days for the rest of FY 13

Eliminate bonuses


Conference spending

Hiring freezesSlide9

Sequestration - furloughs

To meet the required cuts to their budgets, some Agencies have announced they will furlough federal workers

Maximum – 22 days (otherwise, RIFs are triggered)Slide10

How are agencies handling furloughs?

Agencies furloughing include:

DOD – 22



– 2 weeks

EPA – 13 days

DOL – 6 days

Agencies who have not announced whether they will furlough include:



Agencies not furloughing include:

VA – exempt by law

State, SBA, Smithsonian, NRCSlide11

How do agencies decide whether to furlough?

Budgets – 22 day furloughs will only result in 10% of the savings that DOD needs to come up with

Are there other cost savings such as hiring freezes, scaling back contracts,



Politics (White House Tours, Congressional door closures)

Exemptions (job classifications) – unclear – most Agencies don’t have this info yetSlide12

Furloughs - bargainingUnions have limited ability to bargain over furloughs

Impact and Implementation

How furloughs occur, not whether

i.e. can they be taken all at once to help employees vs. one day per pay period

Day care

Military trainingSlide13

Bills relating to furloughsH.R. 900 – Rep. Conyers (MI) – repeal sequestration

H.R. 950 – Rep.


(TX) -


the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to send a report to Congress indicating how amounts could be transferred within agencies and departments for fiscal year 2013 to avoid all furloughs or reductions in


Keeps sequestration in place

H.R. 1014 – Rep. Palazzo (MS) – exempt National Guard technicians from furloughsSlide14

Other Attacks on Federal Workers



Congress (2011-2012)

2 year pay freeze

Requires new hires to pay more for their pensions, creating a new category of pension - SAEs

2013 - Continuing Resolution

House and Senate bills both extend the pay freeze through the end of FY 13

Both continue sequestration

2013 - Congressional Budget Resolution – House

Will require feds to pay “more” for their retirement plans to better align with the private sector (does not say how much more, but assumption is 2-5% more)

10% workforce cut through attrition

$132 billion more in savings over 10 years

2013 - Congressional Budget Resolution – Senate

Ends sequestration

Does not include House bad provisions for Federal workersSlide15

Key upcoming datesMarch 27 – CR expires

April 8 – President unveils his budget

May 18 – Debt ceiling reached (again)Slide16

3. Sequestration– What to Say to your Member of Congress

If you are being furloughed – how does this affect:

You – pay cut, morale


family – less money for the family – groceries, mortgage,



community – hurts small businesses when feds can’t pay for things like meals out, school clothes,


Even if you are not being furloughed, how are you affected by sequestration?


No bonuses

Harder to do your job with less resources

Already living under a pay freeze for more than 2 years – extended under recent House

and Senate


Feds make 22% less on average than private sector counterpartsSlide17

Meeting Review

Thank them for the meeting

Introduce LIUNA

Half a million members in the U.S. and Canada, including over 25,000 federal employees in 35 states

Introduce yourself and your group

My name is ___ and I work at ___ (agency) and I am a (nurse, mechanic, groundskeeper, etc).

Tell them how many Federal employees live in their state/Congressional district

Introduce and explain how sequestration affects you, your family, and



Ask for them to oppose