Government Funding Update

Both chambers will be in recess next week with legislators in their states and districts for the Thanksgiving holiday. When Congress returns the week of November 26th, there will be two weeks remaining before the current Continuing Resolution (CR)--for agencies that did not receive full-year Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding--expires midnight on December 7th between Friday and Saturday…..

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Senators Challenge Administration on Failure to Follow Court Order

A few weeks back, NTEU and other federal labor unions won an historic victory and injunction against the anti-employee executive orders (EOs) issued by President Trump. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson enjoined “the President’s subordinates from implementing or giving effect to” the overturned portions of the EOs. Agencies, however, have continued to give force and effect to struck-down provisions of these EOs at the bargaining table and in other fora.

On Thursday, sixteen Senators….

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Status of EPA Budget

Last month, President Trump signed H.R. 6157, a bill providing Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding for several agencies covered by the Department of Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bills as well as a Continuing Resolution (CR) for other agencies that have otherwise not received FY19 appropriations, thereby preventing a partial government shutdown until December 7, 2018. Agencies funded by the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water appropriations bill received their full-year funding under previously enacted legislation.

EPA is one of the agencies….

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Writing Congress

The NTEU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) guarantees NTEU representatives the right to reach out to Congress. Representatives are guaranteed the right to:

  • act for a labor organization in the capacity of a representative and the right in that capacity to present the views of the labor organization to … the Congress….

  • receive official time to contact members of Congress and their staffs to discuss legislative and related matters affecting the Employer and its employees.

But it’s not only union officials that can reach out to Congress. You also can contact your member of Congress on matters that concern you during your breaks and lunch periods. NTEU makes it easy to do through its congressional action website at action.nteu.org.

You can write Congress about the lack of pay raises to keep up with inflation, the removal of employee rights through the President’s anti-employee executive orders, protecting EPA’s budget, and many other issues. All you need to do is type your zip code, it will automatically locate your member of congress, pre-format a letter you can then edit or send.

Just click here to visit NTEU’s action page now.

Federal Budget Update

Congress has been working in recent months to pass FY19 appropriations bills in small groups, each called a “minibus,” after President Trump expressed displeasure in the spring at signing an omnibus appropriations bill, consisting of all 12 delayed FY18 bills, and stated that he would never do that again. As of today, both the Senate and House have passed the so-called minibus I, H.R. 5895, consisting of full year funding for the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding measures. The President is expected to sign the bill.

This week….

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Update on Legislation Introduced to Take Away Employee Rights

Recently, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee met to consider several anti-employee and anti-union bills.

The proposed bills would eliminate collective bargaining on Information Technology decisions, upend the role of the Merit Systems Protection Board….

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Next Shutdown Deadline March 23

The budget deal decided the size of the overall federal pie, but not the size of each slice agencies will receive.

The budget deal decided the size of the overall federal pie, but not the size of each slice agencies will receive.

By now you've heard there was a budget deal signed by the President. The deal re-opened the shuttered federal government, but only through March 23.

It also sets the overall amount of money the federal government has, but not individual agency allocations. As Politico noted, it sets the overall size of the pie, but did not establish the size of the slices that each agency gets.

Between now and March 23, Congress needs to fight about the appropriation that each agency will receive. That exercise needs to be completed by March 23. If they don't succeed by the deadline, the government will either again close its doors, or they will need to pass another continuing resolution.

If you're concerned about EPA's budget or other issues, click here and email your Congressperson.

Budget Deal in the Works, CR Will Be Necessary

Annual budget process flow chart. This is how its supposed to work.

Annual budget process flow chart. This is how its supposed to work.

I'm sure you've already heard about the budget deal being worked out in the Senate today. We're on Capitol Hill this week at NTEU's legislative conference. What we've learned from our discussions with Senators, Congresspersons, and legislative staff is that it will likely take a couple weeks to work out the budget deal between the house and the Senate. That will require one or two new continuing resolutions (CRs).

Staff we spoke with expect the CR to be voted on today and to pass because neither party has an appetite for another shutdown. That will give both houses of Congress time to work out an "omnibus" budget deal.

Speaker Pelosi seems, however, unhappy that there's no DACA-fix included in the budget deal. Staff nonetheless expect that this objection will not stop a budget deal that's in the works.

The wildcard is, of course, President Trump. It is unknown whether the President will sign the omnibus into law. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

The Clock is Running on Next Shutdown Threat

Unless you were on another planet, you know by now that another short-term continuing resolution (CR) was passed to keep the government open. This CR expires at midnight on February 8, 2018, which means that if a budget deal is not reached in Congress by then and signed by the President, the government will again shut down.

EPA announced before the last shutdown that it had funds to operate for about a week. Assuming that's true, and knowing that we've used one of those days of funds while the rest of the government was shut down, it is likely that EPA will be able to operate through February 14 or 15 before needing to shutter the doors.

NTEU National was on the Hill fighting for us and obtained two large victories....

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Ho, Ho, Ho! Shutdown looming!

From our government budget and politics contact. Looks like a game of chicken is unfolding. Democrats and Republicans are both saying that a government shutdown will hurt the other guys more than their side. As a result, it's looking more likely that January 19 will roll around without a budget or continuing resolution (CR). Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. Read on for more detail from our budget contact....

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Shutdown Averted: Congress Passes Spending Bill

The Grinch has been stopped at the border. January 19 is the next showdown.

The Grinch has been stopped at the border. January 19 is the next showdown.

Thursday night Congress averted a government shutdown, but only temporarily. According to Roll Call, "the Senate voted 66-32 to clear a continuing resolution that would fund the government through Jan. 19, provide funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers through March 31, appropriate $2.1 billion for a private care access program for veterans and temporarily extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act until Jan. 19."  

This comes on the heels of the House's vote earlier. The bill now heads to the President's desk. The President is expected to sign the bill.

We'll be back at this brinkmanship come mid-January. Stay tuned.......

Continuing Resolution Expires December 8. Then What?

On December 8th, the current Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 expires and the temporary debt limit suspension in place will be lifted.  To date, none of the FY 2018 appropriations bills have been enacted and there remains no agreement on the so-called spending caps (sequestration).

On December 8th, funding for federal agencies expires and the temporary debt limit suspension will be lifted.  Congress must vote before then to pass a CR, an omnibus appropriations bill, or some combination thereof to keep the government open.....

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House Committee Passes EPA Budget Bill

Today the U.S. House of Representatives Interior & Environment Committee passed a funding bill for EPA, the Department of the Interior, and related agencies. The bill provides EPA a bit more than $7.5 billion, a 6.6% cut. Coupled with the 1% cut for fiscal year 2017, EPA would be down 7.6% if the bill passes and is signed into law.

There some question about whether the EPA funding bill will pass Congress. Legislators are still discussing an "omnibus" spending bill, that would lump all the non-defense agencies together. No telling what would come out of that process.

We'll keep you posted!