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Feds ask OMB: If debt ceiling isn’t raised, what about us?

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We’re in truly uncharted waters with the current debt ceiling showdown, and federal employee groups are starting to get nervous. The 21-member Federal-Postal Coalition just asked Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for a meeting to detail the consequences if the ceiling isn’t raised by Aug. 2.

If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the coalition wants to know:

  • Will there be a government shutdown? If so, what plans are in place to ensure continuity of operations?
  • What will it mean for the Thrift Savings Plan’s G Fund, which is backed by government securities (and into which the Treasury suspended additional investments back in May for a little more breathing room)? What about retirement funds?
  • Will federal employees be furloughed? And what will that mean for their pay and benefits?

The coalition is made up of federal unions such as the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers; management groups such as the Federal Managers Association and the Senior Executives Association; and other employee groups such as the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and the American Foreign Service Association.

Unless something changes soon (and after this week, it’s not looking good) we’re going to see a lot more frayed nerves. There’s 18 days left until Aug. 2 — time is running out.

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