Rep. Connolly Supports Federal Employees on Payroll Tax Cut Vote
Washington, DC, February 17, 2012
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) stood up for federal employees today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, voting against a conference agreement that once again targets the federal workforce. Read more.
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) stood up for federal employees today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, voting against a conference agreement that once again targets the federal workforce.
“I support the Medicare “Doc Fix” in this bill. I support the payroll tax cut extension in this bill. I support the extension of unemployment insurance to so many of our fellow Americans who have suffered in the Great Recession,” Connolly said on the House floor Friday. “Sadly, I cannot, however, bring myself to vote for this bill.”
“It is not fair to ask only one group of Americans – federal employees – to bear the burden of reducing the federal deficit. Certainly, they must do their part, and they don’t object to sharing the sacrifice, but shared sacrifice should mean shared sacrifice,” Connolly said.
“Federal employees have already contributed $60 billion toward reducing the deficit through successive years of pay freezes. Now the Republican majority wants to increase the burden on their shoulders by raising their retirement contributions and, essentially, cutting their pay,” the Northern Virginia congressman said.
Consideration of the conference report, H.R. 3630, marked the second time this week that House Republicans have tried to cut federal retirement benefits. The transportation bill pending before the House, H.R. 3813, would force current federal employees to pay nearly 300 percent more in retirement costs and cut the FERS annuity supplement. The bill would increase retirement contributions for new federal employees by 400 percent while reducing the benefit they receive by 40 percent.
Calling the anti-federal employee provisions in the payroll tax bill “outrageous,” Connolly said the legislation was one more attempt by the House majority to hollow out the federal workforce. “They want to create an environment where nobody will be interested in federal service because the pay and benefits are so far below those in the private sector.” About 47 percent of the federal workforce is expected to retire in the next decade.