Federal employees have questions about how a potential financial default by the government would affect them, but the Obama administration has no answers.

As we reported Friday, a coalition of federal employee organizations wants the administration to clarify the impact a failure to raise the government’s debt ceiling could have on federal workers.


In a letter to Jacob J. Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, more than 20 members of the Federal-Postal Coalition said, “the prospect of Congressional inaction by Aug. 2 over raising the debt ceiling is generating significant concern throughout the federal community over its impact on the continuity of government operations.”

The Federal Diary had previously asked a series of questions about the same concerns, only to have administration officials answer with a series of “no comment”.

The only exception is the Thrift Savings Plan, which told us default would have no impact on the G Fund invested in government securities.

The coalition’s letter asked about the G Fund and these other issues:

--“If the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2, will all departments and agencies continue to remain operational, or will a government shutdown result? If so, what plans are in place to assure the continuity of government operations?

-- How will the assets of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the G-Fund of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System be impacted, given the continued suspension of additional investments in these funds since May 16?

-- Will federal employees become subject to release through furloughs, and how will their wages and benefits be affected?”

When the Federal Diary asked the Office of Personnel Management about the same issues earlier, OPM bounced the question to the Treasury Department, which bounced it to the Office of Management and Budget, which punted.

“We are not going to engage in hypotheticals,” said an OMB spokeswoman.

Share your thoughts: What do you think of the administration’s response to questions about how a default would affect federal employees? What concerns do you have?


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