Congress and the Federal Worker

Federal employees have many concerns on their plate in terms of Congress and the federal budget, including:

  • What will happen with federal pay in 2015 following the 1% increases in 2014?
  • Will Congress pass a debt limit increase?
  • How will the president’s State of the Union promise to use more Executive Orders play out?

Ken Gold and Marian Currinder of the Government Affairs Institute discussed these and other issues of importance to the Federal workforce today on Federal News Radio.

“We think it’s really important for executive branch employees to understand how Congress works and makes decisions,” said Ken Gold, director of the Government Affairs Institute, “especially those who have management and federal budget responsibilities.”

Other topics discussed included:

  • The impact of the Ryan-Murray budget agreement
  • What to expect in the rest of the 113th Congress
  • Why members of Congress are shifting resources out of Washington and into their district offices
  • Shrinking discretionary spending in future fiscal years

Listen to the full show:

What other things happening (or not happening) in Congress are a big issue for you?

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Scott Kearby


Just a minor correction … it’s a debt limit increase not an extension. We are not allowing more time for payback we are adding more debt.

I haven’t listened to the show but … as far as what to expect from the 113th Congress … I am not expecting much and will expect even less as an election draws near. I also would not be surprised if the reason why members of Congress are shifting resources out of Washington to their districts is a self-serving reason and not necessarily in the best interests of the nation. I would be happy to be proved wrong on both counts!

Samuel Lovett

Thanks, Scott. An important distinction.

The low productivity of the 113th Congress is addressed at the 2:25 minute mark of this interview. Dr. Currinder talks about how the first session of the 113th Congress was the least productive on record, in terms of number of bills passed. She notes how this can be a misleading metric for productivity, but that on any metric, Congress isn’t expected to alter it’s partisan course in the second session.

The second point about shifting resources into the state districts is an offshoot of the first issue. Members of Congress who are driven by a desire to improve their country and implement productive policy are increasingly ineffective in a climate of partisan gridlock. Using federal resources to help constituents back home has been a satisfying part of the job for many Members…