Senator: Feds Need to Know Consequences of Sequester

February 8, 2013

Agency leaders should talk to federal employees now about the effects of the possible sequester if they have not already done so, a Maryland Democrat said on Friday.

“I think the federal workforce needs to know the consequences of March 1, and again as I said, whether it’s short-term or long-term, what happens if there is no better information on March 1,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., referring to the date when automatic spending cuts will take effect across government. “It’s a very tough assignment for an administrator, but I think they have to alert the workforce, particularly if you are an agency that has little discretion [over how to cut], other than the workforce.” Cardin made his remarks to reporters after a town hall with federal employees at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Defense and non-defense agencies face spending cuts between 9 and 13 percent in fiscal 2013 across all of their programs and accounts if Congress does not act to avoid the March 1 sequester. If an agency has to find more savings within its administrative accounts, which include employees’ salaries, then it can resort to furloughs or layoffs

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