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Members of Congress Ask President to Spare Federal Workers from Additional Cuts

by Ian Smith |

Several members of Congress recently sent a letter to President Obama and House leaders to encourage that the federal workforce be left out of consideration for other areas that might possibly be cut for deficit reduction.

The letter follows on the heels of the letter sent earlier this week by the Federal-Postal Coalition to members of Congress on the same subject. In fact, some of the key points made in the letter aligned closely with the one put forth by the Federal-Postal Coalition.

Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Frank R. Wolf (R-VA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Robert J. Wittman (R-VA), Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), John P. Sarbanes (D-MD), and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) were the authors of the letter. Each of the members of Congress represent districts with a high population of federal workers.

The full text of the letter follows below.

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

As you continue further negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff”, those of us who represent our Nation’s dedicated civil service – from the Federal and postal employees we represent in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area, to the vast majority of Federal employees who live and serve in communities outside of Washington, D.C. – respectfully remind you of the substantial sacrifice made by these patriotic, middle class Americans over the past two years.

Since the beginning of 2011, through various legislative and administration actions, the budget savings derived from reduced compensation and benefits for the federal workforce has totaled at least $103 billion (or more than $50,000 per employee), as measured over the ten year budget window. This figure includes:

2011 and 2012 pay freeze $60 billion
2013 raise of 0.5% delayed to April $28 billion
2.3% increase in employees’ retirement
contributions for those hired after 2012
(Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation
Act (P.L.112-96)
$15 billion
Total $103 billion

Federal and postal employees and their families share our commitment to serving the American people in the most efficient, cost-effective manner, and, just like other taxpayers, they too are struggling during these tough times. Many face an uncertain employment future under almost any deficit reduction scenario. And to date, no other group has been asked to financially contribute the way they have. Our dedicated civil servants understand the principle of shared sacrifice and justifiably expect others will actually share in it.

We respectfully request that you carefully consider the implications that any proposed agreement would have on these Americans so that it reflects the substantial budget savings that the Federal workforce has contributed thus far.

Sincerely,
James P. Moran
Frank R. Wolf
Steny Hoyer
Chris Van Hollen
Gerald E. Connolly
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Robert J. Wittman
Donna F. Edwards
John P. Sarbanes

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