U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer Wednesday cosponsored an amendment
to ensure that "essential" federal employees would be able to continue
providing certain services that face being cut due to budget issues.
"I support replacing across-the-board reductions with
smarter spending cuts that target wasteful, low-priority programs – it's a
matter of setting priorities," said
Fischer. "This important amendment will provide executive agencies with
increased flexibility to make necessary spending cuts while also ensuring the
federal government can continue to meet its core duties."
Johanns added, "This legislation simply gives
agency and department heads the flexibility the President asked for so there is
no excuse for essential services to be the first things on the chopping block."
According to Johanns, this amendment would apply identical language
used during occurrences of inclement weather or other government shutdowns to
the sequestration spending reductions at each agency.
This is the same language used in guidance from the Clinton
Administration in preparation for the 1995 government shutdown defining
essential employees as, "an employee that performs work involving the safety of
human life or the protection of property, as determined by the head of the