Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) has filed two amendments to the Hurricane Sandy relief bill that would impact the federal workforce if adopted.
One would require cuts of 1.63% for all agencies; the other would eliminate the mass transit benefit for federal employees. The amendments are designed to offset the cost of the relief package.
In a statement, Mulvaney said:
As a Representative from South Carolina, a state that has experienced many hurricanes of its own, I know and understand the need for disaster relief. Providing relief for large-scale natural disasters is a proper function of government and I absolutely support the federal government’s role in situations such as this. That being said, I have offered two amendments to the Sandy Supplemental Relief Bill that will off-set the cost by finding savings in other areas and one amendment that seeks accountability in how the money is spent. I believe these to be common-sense ideas. I know how important the supplemental relief is to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, but I believe we can provide that relief while finding ways to pay for it, rather than adding to the nation’s ballooning deficit. Indeed, if we cannot come together under these tragic circumstances to find a way to pay for this relief, do we seriously believe we will have the political will to ever balance the budget?
NTEU was quick to condemn the amendments. NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said federal agencies have already endured budget cuts and could face more if sequestration isn’t dealt with by Congress. She also attacked the potential loss of the transit subsidy, saying, “Many federal employees, already subject to a two-year pay freeze and increased pension contributions, depend on public transportation to get to and from work, and rely on the transit benefit to provide relief in their commuting costs.”
The two amendments would offset about $17 billion of the cost of additional relief aid for Hurricane Sandy.