Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is “likely” to be named the next Secretary of Defense by President Obama, Bloomberg is now reporting. Hagel visited the White House to discuss the position December 4, and has passed the vetting process, according to the news site. Update: NBC News quotes a White House official saying, “I can say there will be no new cabinet secretaries announced this week.”
Despite the ongoing pay freeze and talks of other cuts to federal employees’ pay and benefits, the majority of Americans still believe government workers are better off than private sector workers, a new survey has found. The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, found that 67 percent of respondents believed private sector employees work harder than government employees. Sixty-seven percent of the 1,000 respondents also said federal workers have more job security than private sector workers.
Democrats have an edge in public support in the fiscal cliff negotiations, a trio of polls out this week reveal, with the majority of Americans endorsing a compromise deal that includes spending cuts and tax increases.
When it comes to describing the consequences of sequestration on national security, Defense Department leaders haven’t held back on strong adjectives over the past year: Pentagon officials have said automatic budget cuts would be “draconian,” “devastating” and “deeply destructive.” But as the Pentagon begins its long-delayed process of planning to implement the cuts, leaders are concluding that they may have to contend with a cut that is $10 billion larger than previously planned.
President Obama’s reelection means there is not a presidential transition in the usual sense of the word. Compared with four years ago, there will be no building a staff from scratch, learning the ropes of working in the White House and federal agencies, or navigating a wholesale hand-off of power from an outgoing president. Under the radar, however, there is still a transition happening and, because of its timing, these 75 days between the election and inauguration are as important as ever.
It’s no secret that federal workers are feeling worn down. They’ve had their salaries frozen and are at the center of a partisan debate over the value of their work. A report due out Thursday, based on the largest sample ever of the workforce of 2 million, confirms a steady decline in morale and ebbing commitment.