"The way I view it is that it's a slingshot, so they've been pulling back and pulling back, and at some point they're gonna release it and it's all gonna go," said Joe Trauger, vice president of human resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers.
In turn, the agencies can expect more scrutiny from Congress. Ed Gilroy, director of workforce policy for the House Education and Labor Committee, said he expected his committee to "give increased attention" to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. "These are important agencies, but they haven't garnered the same level of attention on the Hill and within the committee [as], say, the National Labor Relations Board," he said.
Of course, the most pressing issue now for the federal government is the looming fiscal cliff. Former leaders of Congress speaking at a luncheon discussion agreed that a deal averting the financial crisis was likely.
"You don't see a lot of stuff going on right now," said former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), a Dickstein Shapiro senior adviser. "But I think under the surface, there are people who are trying to figure this out."
Added former senator John Breaux (D-La.), now senior counsel to Patton Boggs, "I think that if they did go over the fiscal cliff, it would really be an admission by the entire Congress that they're incapable of governing."
Matthew Huisman, Andrew Ramonas and Don Tartaglione contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared in The National Law Journal.
This article originally appeared in The National Law Journal under the headline “Walter says SEC is 'strikingly short-staffed'.”