#GovShutdown – Day 7 – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Getting approval to attend government conferences was a harrowing experience before the shutdown. Travel restrictions, budget cuts and management approval made it very difficult to attend any government conference, let alone conferences out of town. But now the government shutdown is going to make attending conferences even more difficult. We get analysis coming from a new survey.

DorobekINSIDER's #GovShutdown Reader - Day 7 - Hope on pay, but not on resolution:

As has been the case with the Shutdown of 2013, there has been days of one step forward with one step back. Generally, although there have been some glimmers of hope, there is no resolution in sight yet.

The most significant headlines:

  • The House passes legislation that would pay feds retroactively for any shutdown furlough time.

    • Washington Post: Obama, Congress can’t find way to reopen government, but furloughed workers may not lose pay

  • The Defense Department recalls most of its civilian workforce

    • NYT: In Surprise Announcement, Hagel Recalls Most Defense Department Workers. “In a letter to the department released Saturday, Mr. Hagel said government lawyers had advised that under the Pay Our Military Act, the Defense Department could “eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members.”

For long-time government watchers, there is a certain irony about bringing back government on a piece-by-piece basis: Congress and the White House are (again) unable to make decisions about priorities -- even in a shutdown.

The purpose of a budget, after all, is to set priorities -- to decide what is important to do, and what is less important. It is no easy task -- and it is no small task. For years, lawmakers and successive administrations have avoided those tough decisions.

Of course, most people who care about feds are thrilled that feds might get paid for a battle they had nothing to do with, but there is long term frustration about how to move the country… the government… each agency… each government program forward in an effective way. This is no way to manage.

With that, what you need to know about the shutdown for day 7:

  • Politico: Shutdown heads into second week: The government shutdown is lurching into a second week after a fruitless weekend on Capitol Hill.  

  • ABC’s This Week: Boehner: No ‘Clean’ Votes on Reopening Government or Debt Ceiling Without Negotiations with President Obama

  • The Fiscal Times: Shutdown Lowdown: Sizing Up the Federal Furloughs

  • The Washington Post: Majority of House appears to support ‘clean’ continuing resolution bill. All but five House Democrats have signed a letter urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow a vote on a "clean" continuing resolution bill, meaning the legislation appears to have the support of a majority of House members.

  • PRI’s MarketPlace: Shut it down! Why a government shutdown costs money

  • The Government is Now Closed…in More Ways Than One: The ludicrous and wasteful government shutdown can now claim another victim: government transparency. Several functions dedicated to providing information to the American public have been declared “non-essential” and are suspended during the lapse in appropriations. You might say that open government is now closed for business.

  • The Washington Post oped: Fred Hiatt: The shutdown of good governance

  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Defaults, debt ceilings, shutdowns, sequestration... Wall Street is getting crisis fatigue

  • The Washington Post: Want to know why the government is shutdown? This chart explains it.

  • Defense One: Paying the Troops: Beyond the Shutdown: The government shutdown puts a spotlight on the growing concerns over the long-term cost of military personnel.  

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. More than 100 chief financial officers and senior managers, when asked about imposing budget cuts in their agencies, stated that these cuts were sustainable and achievable in the short term. They did indicate, however, that they desired more discretion when it came to determining where budget cuts should take place. The Federal Times notes that with the sequester, budget cuts have had to occur across the board as opposed to being strategically placed.

  2. The five members of the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies have been furloughed as of last Friday. Commissioned by President Obama, the Review Group has been responsible for investigating the government’s use of surveillance technologies. As Politico reports, Michael Morell, a member of the investigation, has come out in support of the suspension in the Review Group’s activities, stating that they should not be allowed to continue their work while so many in the intelligence community are furloughed.

  3. Officials at the General Services Administration have stated that the organization will not be paying its utility bills until after the government shutdown ends and a budget for the 2014 fiscal year has been established. The Federal Times states, however, that utility companies are still expected to provide services to GSA’s facilities under existing contracts.   

  4. The OMB is modifying its guidelines for federal agencies concerning the implementation of the federal information system continuous monitoring (FISCM) program. Concerned that OMB guidelines on this issue were not specific enough to determine which agencies would be allowed to engage in FISCM, officials at the OMB have determined that only federal systems or the dot-gov network will have permission to implement FISCM as reported by Federal News Radio.

  5. The federal Judiciary will remain open, despite the government shutdown, until approximately October 15. On that date, the Judiciary will reevaluate the situation and provide further guidance to citizens concerning its operations. As indicated by a U.S. Courts statement, judicial proceedings for now will continue as scheduled.

  6. Army officials are currently reviewing a new set of regulations that would ban tattoos below the knee or elbow for soldiers. If approved, this new set of rules would go into effect within 60 days. Those with tattoos already below the knee or elbow will be allowed to keep their current tattoos. The Wall Street Journal notes that these upcoming regulations have sent a rush of army soldiers to the tattoo parlor to get work done before the rules go into effect.  

  7. The Defense Health Agency, a new organization responsible for streamlining and integrating medical practices across the Army, Navy, and Air Force, started its operations on October 1, despite the government shutdown. The Agency will be providing medical care to soldiers on the battlefield and to service members, retirees, and their families at home. The Military Health System reports that the Agency’s efforts to streamline military medical care will hopefully combat rising health care costs, which have been increasing in the military over the past couple of years.  

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Capital Weather: Alaska National Weather Service office begs “please pay us” in secret message

  • Wall Street Journal: The Oddest Airline Superstitions; Trees on Control Towers, Lucky Elton John Albums on Planes

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