Missouri Senator Roy Blunt has introduced an amendment that would provide the Obama Administration with the flexibility to ensure essential federal employees continue to provide vital services – including meat inspections. Nebraska Senators Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer are cosponsoring the amendment. Johanns says the legislation gives agency and department heads the flexibility the President asked for so there would be no excuse for essential services to be the first things on the chopping block. The amendment would apply identical language used during occurrences of inclement weather or other government shutdowns to the sequestration spending reductions at each agency.
Essential employees are defined as those that perform work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property, as determined by the head of the agency. The amendment provides agencies with funding flexibility so fiscal responsibility is maintained but essential services are not cut. The transfers can only be made within agencies and may not occur for any purpose other than keeping essential employees from facing furloughs.
Source: NAFB News Service