The Supercommittee Blame Game, Preparing For Failure

Hey there, I’m Christopher Dorobek, the DorobekINSIDER and welcome to GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek. Each week, our goal is to find an issue, a person, an idea that helped define the past 7-days. We always work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.


There is really little doubt about what the big issue is for the third week of November, it has really been one of the most dominant issues this year.

The GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week, as it has been so often this year — it’s the budget.

The House and Senate managed to pass a budget bill. The Washington Post calls it a detailed vision of the federal government on a diet.” The House and Senate late in the week approved a $130.4 billion measure to fund five Cabinet departments, the first big budget bill since this summer’s promise of greater austerity.

Despite a few steps forward, there is still broad concern that the budget process is still broken and that there are still significant issues. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal said that “Washington is set to let down the nation yet again, as the supercommittee approaches its deadline with no real chances of a deal.”

Of course, the deadline for the deal comes up next week.

Rosalind Helderman is a congressional reporter for the Washington Post. And she says that there are very important days ahead.

And it’s GovLoop, so we want to get your thoughts… And on GovLoop, the questions has been posted: What would a supercommittee deadlock mean to you?


This week, we learned that feds are not quite as thrilled with their jobs. In fact, satisfaction among federal workers is down for the first time in four years, according to an annual Best Places to Work survey conducted by the Partnership for Public Service. Given the age of austerity, that probably isn’t a huge surprise. The Washington Post reports that 64 percent of employees were satisfied with their work across the federal government. That represents a slight drop of 1.5 percentage points from last year but the most pronounced dip in the history of the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings. Morale improved at just 31 of the 308 federal agencies, bureaus, departments and offices in the survey. And, for what it’s worth: the best big agency to work for: the FDIC and the small agency: the Surface Transportation Safety Board and the best agency component: the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. You can read the Washington Post breakdown of the survey and hear audio from the awards ceremony from Federal News Radio. And people are discussing the Best Agency list. What do YOU think?

Another significant milestone this week and it involves GovLoop. The up-start social network for government passed 50,000 members this week. GovLoop founder Steve Ressler said he remembers being a fed and being asked to do something that every agency was doing, yet being frustrated that there wasn’t an effective way to share what worked and what didn’t. And GovLoop was created. It’s a remarkable platform and Steve deserves a lot of credit for having created it. We have a link to Steve’s thoughts and my conversation with him about this milestone on

And don’t miss the GovLoop/NASPAA scholarship contest. GovLoop asked if they only had $100 million to spend, what would they do. Read the answers and vote for your favorites.

And this week, the Obama administration announced the winner for the third round of the SAVE awards — the Securing Americans Value and Efficiency awards. This is a contest to find the best way to save money. There were four finalist for the ideas they proposed and the person who proposed the winning idea gets to meet with President Obama. And the winner was Matthew Ritsko of Crofton, MD, who recommended the creation of a centralized tool repository, or “lending library,” for NASA employees to use when developing and building space flight projects.

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