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Lawmakers: Federal Workers Have Already Taken Big Cuts

Federal government employees have made a substantial contribution to federal debt reduction efforts already, say local lawmakers who are trying to ensure that federal workers don’t take a big hit in any upcoming debt reduction package.

The lawmakers are cautioning President Barack Obama and leaders in the House of Representatives to “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.”

The lawmakers — Democratic Reps. Jim Moran (Va.), Steny Hoyer (Md.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Gerry Connolly (Va.), Donna Edwards (Md.) and John Sarbanes (Md.), plus Republican Reps. Frank Wolf (Va.) and Robert Wittman (Va.) — sent a letter to Obama this week highlighting $103 billion in cuts taken by federal employees in the form of pay freezes, delayed raises and increased benefit contributions.

“The letter comes as Congress and the White House work toward a solution to avoid sequestration cuts mandated to go into effect on January 2, 2013,” Moran’s office noted in a press release.

The text of the letter, which was also sent to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, after the jump.

Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg

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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