A resolution introduced in the House by Hansen Clarke (D-MI), John Conyers (D-MI), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), and Danny Davis (D-IL) would offer a number of protections for federal employees, not the least of which would be to prevent any increases in the amount that feds would have to contribute towards their retirement benefits.
The news of late coming out of the House of Representatives has not been good for the federal workforce. Budget proposals put forth would cut the size of the federal workforce and increase the dollar amount that federal workers have to contribute to their retirement benefits, and talk of an extended pay freeze has been floated as well.
Several Democratic Representatives have decided that they have seen enough of House plans that target the federal workforce.
H. Res. 657, introduced on May 15, points out that “Federal employees inspect the food we eat and the places we work, prevent the flow of illicit drugs into our Nation, maintain the safety of our Nation’s borders, care for our Nation’s veterans, deliver our mail, and keep the national defense systems prepared to respond to any threat to our safety,” and that they have been “targeted for devastating reductions in their compensation and of the resources they need to perform their jobs and carry out the missions of their agencies.”
The resolution’s authors feel this is unacceptable. Consequently, they wrote the resolution to do the following, if enacted:
- End the pay freeze on schedule in January 2013
- Prevent further cuts to pensions or benefits of federal employees
- Prevent employees’ contributions to their retirement systems from increasing
- Stop the FERS annuity supplement from being eliminated and federal employees eligible to retire should be able to do so, regardless of age
- Eliminate Social Security reform plans that include utilizing a Chained Consumer Price Index which would reduce federal annuities
- Stop the FEHBP from being turned into a voucher program
- Repeal the tax increase on new federal workers that funds part of the extension of unemployment benefits
- Honor and respect the work of the federal workforce
- Require Congress to acknowledge that efforts to reduce compensation and support of the federal workforce will “undermine our Government’s ability to meet its obligations to citizens, and hurt Federal agencies’ ability to recruit and retain a high-quality Federal workforce.”
The resolution has been referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Ways and Means.