March 22, 2013 – A continuing resolution that won final passage Thursday to keep the government funded for the next six months while locking in across-the-board sequester cuts is headed to President Obama for signature.
The House approved the bill with a bipartisan vote of 318-109, one day following Senate passage. Presuming it is signed, the measure prevents the federal government shutdown that would result March 27, when the current stopgap measure expires.
While the bill keeps the sequester cuts in place, it gives flexibility to certain agencies, such as the Department of Defense, on how to implement them. Despite that, the bill does little to prevent more than a million federal employees from being furloughed between April and the end of the fiscal year, according to a Washington Post report.
The Post reports this will be the first time the federal government has instituted wide-scale furloughs with no chance for employees to recover lost pay. It says federal labor unions and agency managers are bargaining over how and when employees will take unpaid days.
Meanwhile, NAFCU member credit unions are standing by with 0 percent loans, penalty waivers and more to help members affected by the sequester cuts. NAFCU is encouraging more credit unions to get in touch with the association about efforts they are undertaking to assist these members. It will share this information with Hill contacts, federal government agencies and servicemember organizations.
Send information on these preparations to Quincy Enoch, NAFCU’s associate director of legislative affairs and military liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington Post, House approves resolution to keep government running; bill heads to White House, 3/21