Disagreements over spending and taxes this year forced the government to furlough federal employees and contractors as partisan gridlock over the issues caused automatic spending cuts and a 16-day government shutdown.
Congress in December reached a short-term spending deal projected to trim future budget deficits, but its fiscal discipline comes in the form of continued sequester cuts, new revenue, and reduced contributions toward retirement benefits for future federal employees and working-age military retirees.
Below are the Top 10 Federal Eye stories that told the story of the 2013 budget battles and their consequences.
Jan. 2: Congress reaches fiscal-cliff deal on New Years Day
Feb. 28: Senate rejects last expected bills for avoiding sequester
April 25: Threat of sequester furloughs diminishing or gone for some agencies
July 26: Stopping sequester would boost economy but hurt longterm output, CBO says
Aug. 12: Obama will exempt military personnel if sequester continues
Oct. 1: Day One of the government shutdown: Now what?
Nov. 7: Shutdown cost $2 billion in lost federal employee productivity, White House says
Nov. 21: Which agencies were hit hardest by shutdown furloughs?
Dec. 12: How higher federal-retirement payments ended up in the 2013 budget deal
Dec. 13: Budget deal allows pay increase for federal workers
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Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.