WASHINGTON, DC – Today Senior Executives Association (SEA) President Bill Valdez released the following statement on the conclusion of the 35-day partial government shutdown.
“Millions of Americans today are breathing a sigh of relief that our elected leaders in Washington have finally come together to fulfil their most basic constitutional responsibilities: to fund government in the interest of the national welfare. 800,000 Federal workers and millions of contractors and grantees have been collateral damage in a policy battle that drove countless families into financially dire straits, impossible choices between medical care and food on the table, and few options about how to maintain normalcy and stability for themselves and their families. Through this ordeal Federal civil servants have demonstrated their patriotism, professionalism, and dedication to selfless service.
“For nearly two generations Americans have viewed government and government workers as the problem. This shutdown proved that Federal workers are an integral part of our society and communities, and if there is any silver lining to this partial shutdown it is that the public and elected leaders are now attuned to the fragility of our society and economy when we neglect our institutions and the people who work for the public.
“While there is solace for workers who will no longer have to worry about their ability to pay bills, damage to the government’s workforce and its ability to attract and retain the talent it needs to serve all Americans is immense. Federal workforce capabilities have been neglected and undermined for the past twenty years, as illustrated in a study SEA released this week Are Declines in U.S. Federal Workforce Capabilities Putting Our Government at Risk of Failing? and may take a long time to be restored.
“Congress and the Administration now have an obligation to the American people to repair the damage from this unprecedented shutdown of vital government services and ensure that it will never occur again. Our political leadership must take seriously how we treat our Nation’s dedicated civil servants and engage in a national debate that will restore confidence in our ability to deliver to the American taxpayer the services they richly deserve.
“The Senior Executives Association, in partnership with other groups that represent the ideals of a nonpartisan career civil service, stands ready to take part in that debate and contribute the knowledge and resources of our career leader members to this important effort.”
The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career Federal executives. Founded in 1980, SEA’s goals are to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity of the Federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career Federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. For more information, visit www.seniorexecs.org.