Arlington, Va. (August 14, 2019)—In an August 13 letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney , the Professional Services Council (PSC) urged the administration to reject any efforts to rescind unobligated funding (currently estimated at some $4 Billion) already appropriated within specific budget accounts for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. PSC President & CEO David Berteau wrote:
| PSC Urges OMB Not To Rescind State/USAID Funding
“Failing to obligate existing appropriations not only creates the false appearance that these are somehow excessive funds while ongoing development work remains underfunded, it also ignores the fact that ongoing programs – implemented at the behest of federal government – need to be paid for. Rescinding funds rather than using them would also undermine Congressional intent and direction in the FY19 appropriations legislation.
Additionally, these arbitrary withholdings send adverse messages to our overseas partners at a time we seek to forge and maintain alliances to counter the rise of China, solidify the defeat of a resurging ISIS, and deter Iranian aggression. They also call into question United States commitments to such issues as HIV/AIDS or Ebola treatment, anti-human trafficking programs, drug crop eradication, transparent governance, or education improvement for women and marginalized communities.”
Additionally, PSC cautioned that the impact of such massive funding cuts would not be short-lived:
“… the reality is that neither the federal government nor companies working in these fields can simply flip a switch to stop and then re-start their operations when committed funds are suddenly withdrawn. Project momentum and support are lost. Talented field and local national staff who have been let go, for however temporary a period, lose both the incentive to re-join a program or ever work again for any implementing partner funded by the United States.”
Berteau urged the Trump administration to work with Congress on expeditious funding for all the programs appropriated through the September 30 end of the current fiscal year. He also urged the administration to work to ensure that Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations are passed and signed into law in time to avoid the possibility of either a government shutdown or a Continuing Resolution.
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Director, Public Policy
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PSC is the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. PSC’s more than 400 member companies represent small, medium and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks.
To learn more, visit www.pscouncil.org.