By Aaron Trippler
There are only three more days until we find out if our government has decided to allow the sequester to take place. If you want to place a bet, I would say it will go into effect, but perhaps for only a couple of weeks. I don't think there is any way they can reach a compromise before March 1, and at this point in time, I honestly believe they don't want to reach a compromise. The Democrats believe that the Republicans will take the blame. The Republicans believe that the Democrats will take the blame. Both sides have to wait until we see the ramifications of the cuts; most believe they won't see an impact for at least 30 days.
That leads to the question, "What might happen at OSHA?" OSHA has put out an internal memo that says the agency believes it can avoid furloughs of employees by "targeting" the cuts—in other words, no hiring, no bonuses, no travel, eliminating "noncritical" contracts and sticking to its core mission. OSHA has provided Congress with a proposal on how to run the agency during the sequestration and is waiting for Congress to review it.
The proposal from OSHA perhaps answers one big question: whether or not an agency can "target" its cuts from specific programs. It looks like OSHA believes it has the right to do so. I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news. Does this mean that the agency can simply discontinue some programs and transfer any funding from those programs to another? Guess we have to wait and see. It's never boring around here!