Connolly-Raskin-Cummings Lead 95 Members of Congress in Urging House Leadership Not To Use Federal Employees for Government Funding Offset

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Washington, December 22, 2017 | comments

Today, Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) led 95 members of Congress in urging Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to oppose any further cuts to federal employee pay and benefits to offset increased discretionary spending.

“Enough is enough. The federal workforce should be thanked for their honorable service, not treated like a piggy bank,” said Connolly, Raskin and Cummings.  

“Since 2011, federal employees have had their pay frozen three times (2011, 2012, 2013), three years of reduced pay increases (2014, 2015, 2016), unpaid furlough days from the 2013 sequestration, and two increases in retirement contributions for new employees (2013, 2014),” the members of Congress wrote.

“While we agree that a long-term bipartisan budget agreement to lift the devastating sequestration caps is necessary, to finance such an agreement on the backs of middle class federal employees who have dedicated their lives to serving our nation would be wrong under any circumstances,” they added. “We respectfully request you explore other avenues to offset the cost of lifting the caps.”

The letter was signed by Representatives Hoyer, Connolly, Raskin, Barragan, Beyer, Bishop (GA), Blumenauer, Bonamici, Boyle, Brown, Carbajal, Carson, Cicilline, Clay, Cleaver, Costa, Courtney, Crist, Cummings, Davis (CA), Davis (IL), DeFazio, DeGette, Delaney, DeSaulnier, Deutch, Dingell, Doyle, Engel, Espaillat, Evans, Foster, Fudge, Gabbard, Gallego, Hanabusa, Higgins, Jackson Lee, Jayapal, Keating, Khanna, Kilmer, Kildee, Lawrence, Lee (CA), Levin, Lewis, Lipinski, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Lynch, Maloney, Matsui, McCollum, McEachin, McGovern, McNerney, Meng, Murphy (FL), Nadler, Napolitano, Nolan, Norcross, Norton, O'Halleran, Pallone, Perlmutter, Peters, Plaskett, Pocan, Price, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan (OH), Sablan, Sanchez, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Schrader, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Shea-Porter, Sires, Smith, Takano, Titus, Vargas, Visclosky, Watson Coleman, Welch, Wilson, Yarmuth.

The full letter follows and is available here.

 

December 22, 2017

 

 

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi,

We are writing to strongly urge you to oppose any further cuts to federal employee pay and benefits to offset increased discretionary spending caused by the lifting of the FY 2018 and FY 2019 sequester spending caps on defense and domestic appropriations. As you are aware, federal employees and retirees have had their pay and benefits cut by $182 billion since 2011. Time and time again, they have been asked to sacrifice in the name of deficit reduction. Enough is enough.

Since 2011, federal employees have had their pay frozen three times (2011, 2012, 2013), three years of reduced pay increases (2014, 2015, 2016), unpaid furlough days from the 2013 sequestration, and two increases in retirement contributions for new employees (2013, 2014).

While we agree that a long-term bipartisan budget agreement to lift the devastating sequestration caps is necessary, to finance such an agreement on the backs of middle class federal employees who have dedicated their lives to serving our nation would be wrong under any circumstances. But to do so, immediately after passing an unpaid-for tax cut that will explode the federal deficit and disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Americans would be a slap in the face to the hardworking Americans who care for our veterans, process our Social Security checks, and protect our national parks.

Therefore, as you work toward an agreement to lift the sequestration caps for FY 2018 and FY 2019, we respectfully request you explore other avenues to offset the cost of lifting the caps. Federal employees and retirees have already done their part. It is time to find other ways to reduce the deficit.

Sincerely,

 

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