+1 212 318 2000
Europe, Middle East, & Africa
+44 20 7330 7500
+65 6212 1000
When President Obama signed the Budget Control Act in August 2011, ending a congressional standoff over increasing the debt limit, the January 2013 deadline for Congress to agree on a way to reduce the federal budget deficit--and thus avoid the across-the-board cuts to federal agencies called for by the BCA's sequestration process--seemed to be comfortably in the future.
At this point, however, the number of days for Congress to act to avoid the defense and nondefense cuts, estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at about $984 billion over nine years, or almost $110 billion annually, is rapidly dwindling.
Congress will be in recess until Sept. 10. When members of the House and Senate return, the first order of business will be approving a six-month spending plan to keep the federal government operating from Oct. 1 through the end of March. While passage of the plan will avoid a possible government shutdown during election season, it will not end the threat of sequestration in January.
Although the 2012 national elections in November are expected to be a "tiebreaker," with one of the major parties presumably coming out on top, there is no guarantee of a clear winner. Suppose that President Obama narrowly wins re-election but the Republicans hold onto the House and fall just short of establishing control over the Senate. Who is supposed to compromise based on this result?
Before leaving for its recess, Congress passed legislation (H.R. 5872) requiring the administration to provide lawmakers with more details regarding the projected impact on federal agencies and functions of sequestration. The president signed the bill on Aug. 7, meaning under the terms of the legislation that the White House has 30 days to provide the required information. Let's hope the details are enough to force action in time to avoid cuts that were designed to be unthinkable for both parties.
In other public sector news:
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).