July 18, 2017
Washington, D.C – The 2018 budget proposal released today by the House Budget Committee Chair is an affront to the civil servants who work for the U.S. government and a threat to their ability to provide necessary services to the American people, said Tony Reardon, National President of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).
“This budget is a hodgepodge of bad policy, harmful spending cuts and rollbacks of protections for consumers and taxpayers,” Reardon said. “Such austerity measures, masquerading as deficit reduction, would inflict untold economic damage by privatizing Medicare, eliminating vital government services to citizens most in need, and forcing middle-class Americans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.”
Reardon urged Congress to reject the budget proposal and its unworkable spending caps in favor of a 2018 spending plan that restores those federal agencies that have been slashed in recent years.
In a Tuesday letter sent to the House Budget Committee members, Reardon specifically focused on unfair and shortsighted cuts to federal employee pay and pensions. Reardon said the budget proposal misuses federal pay and pensions as a “blank check to pay for particulars that have nothing to do with federal employees and retirees.”
By increasing how much federal employees pay toward their retirement, most middle-class federal workers would suffer a 6 percent cut in take-home pay. And eliminating the supplement for those who retire before they can start collecting Social Security would fall harshly on federal law enforcement officers, some of whom are required to retire early, and force many other employees to simply work longer.
“The federal government should be protecting these benefits, as well as setting an example for the private sector, and devoting its resources to extending retirement security for all Americans,” the letter states.
Since 2010, federal employees have already lost $182 billion in pay and benefits. The administration’s federal workforce proposals to Congress would slash an additional $149 billion, and today’s budget proposal would direct reducing these benefits by $32 billion over ten years.
Congressional appropriators have already started writing agency 2018 spending bills, many of which ignore the massive agency funding cuts originally proposed by the administration.
“We encourage Congress to continue on that path of responsible legislating and to avoid further reductions to the pay and pensions of federal employees,” he said.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 31 federal agencies and departments.
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Click here to read the letter sent to the House Budget Committee members.