The Congressional budget conference committee met for the first time on Wednesday and is tasked with making recommendations by December 13. The current temporary spending bill expires on January 15, and I think it’s safe to say the last thing either chamber or party (let alone the American people) wants is another shutdown. It remains to be seen what will happen with sequestration.
If sequestration remains in place another round of cuts will take place in January. If that’s the case, then the Defense Department may start reductions in force (RIFs). Most RIFs are the result of reorganization, for reasons including shortage of funds, lack of work or restructuring. But RIFs aren’t only about abolishing positions. Regulations also determine whether an employee has a right to a different position, in which case an employee may be considered “downgraded.” A downgraded employee might be placed in a lower-graded position while still retaining the benefits of the higher grade for two years.
Two-thirds of middle-class military families plan to scale back their Thanksgiving celebrations this year out of economic concerns. Among the reasons? Sequestration, of course, in addition to concerns left over from the shutdown and debt ceiling debates, and talk of downsizing. The military families surveyed said they would reduce spending in a number of ways including less travel, sticking to a budget and spending less on food.
Sources: federaltimes.com, militarytimes.com via First Command Financial Behaviors Index