Raj KAJ (scottobear) wrote,

Potential Expiration of Surface Transportation Authorization

Message from the Deputy Secretary -

As many of you are aware, the most recent Congressional extension of the current surface transportation authorization, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, is set to expire on Friday, July 31, 2015. If Congress does not take appropriate action, a lapse in legal authority to make new obligations from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) would result in FHWA, FMCSA, NHTSA and OST-R having to furlough non-excepted employees whose salaries are drawn from the HTF.

I understand and am very sympathetic to the fact that this may have a negative impact on you personally. Please know that we are working with Congress to avoid this situation. We need Congress to break the cycle of short term extensions and provide long term certainty for not just the programs, but all the hard-working, committed individuals like you who make our programs operate successfully.

I want to assure you that we are continuously monitoring Congressional action and will keep you apprised of updates as they occur. While we don’t expect it to occur, in the event that a lapse in authorization happens, we will release detailed instructions regarding how an orderly shutdown will be implemented. At that time, managers will conduct a staff meeting with employees at each location to provide further information.

If you have any questions, please contact your respective Human Resources office.

Thank you again for all your hard work.

[Edit - followup:]

Thank you for your continued patience. I wanted to make sure you all are aware of the good news. Yesterday afternoon Congress passed and today the President has signed an extension of the surface transportation authorization that will keep the programs operating through October 29, 2015, meaning no furloughs will be necessary.

While we are very pleased that all employees from FHWA, FMCSA, NHTSA or OST-R will be able to come to work next week, we are concerned that Congress could allow this situation to repeat itself again in October. We recognize that this pattern of standing on the edge of a shutdown is hard on our staff and counterproductive. Please know that we are working with Congress to avoid this situation and pass a long term authorization that provides certainty for both the programs and our employees.

If you have any questions, please contact your respective Human Resources office.

Again, thank you for your understanding and all your hard work.

Originally published at The Scotto Grotto. You can comment here or there.

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