Congress is continuing to draft spending bills for the fiscal year that starts in October but to date none of them have addressed potential hits to federal employee benefits. The House is moving forward with appropriations bills that hold spending within the levels of an outline recently agreed to by Congress, levels that the White House has said would trigger a veto; Senate Democrats also have threatened to hold up any such bills there since they have enough members to block those bills under Senate rules. Those funding levels could translate into pressures to reduce employment levels and agency spending on internal costs such as federal employee training and travel, although none so far have addressed a requirement in the budget outline to shave $194 billion over 10 years from accounts under the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Most of the spending under that committee’s jurisdiction goes to the federal employee health insurance and retirement programs. One key indicator will be the financial services-general government bill, which has been taken up yet even at the subcommittee level.
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