Jacqueline Simon, American Federation of Government Employees, Public Policy Director
Topic: Jacqueline Simon discussed how potential spending cuts could impact federal workers. AFGE has joined other labor unions and organizations in calling on Congress not to further cut federal employee wage and benefits to avoid the fiscal cliff. AFGE is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
James Thurber, American Univ. Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies, Director & Prof.
Topic: The 538 Electors in the Electoral College meet in their state and vote for President and Vice President on separate ballots. These votes are sent to the President of the Senate who reads them before both houses of Congress on January 6th.
David Maurer, Government Accountability Office, Homeland Security & Justice Issues Director
Topic: Since 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has offered states grant money to prevent, respond to and recover from a terrorism incident. The use of these funds were recently questioned by Sen. Tom Coburn, who cited that equipment purchased with the money went unused and was unrelated to terrorism. GAO's David Maurer discussed how much money is offered, what states do with it and what type of oversight is done by DHS once money is awarded.