House Passes Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Including Painful Cuts to Federal Pay, Benefits, and Jobs
Less than 24 hours after Congress cleared a continuing resolution to fund the government through the remainder of 2013, the House of Representatives succeeded in passing a budget resolution for fiscal year 2014.
The budget resolution, introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) last week, made an uncharacteristically short trip through the House despite its inclusion of several extreme measures. The resolution calls for $132 billion in savings from increasing the amount federal workers pay toward their pensions and “aligning federal pay with the private sector” which, by Ryan’s understanding, means big cuts. It would also reduce the current workforce by ten percent through attrition, costing 200,000 jobs by 2015.
This measure comes on the heels of both the House and Senate’s passage of a continuing resolution which includes a pay freeze extension through 2013. Though the Ryan budget is not likely to survive in its current form, the continuing resolution is now on the President’s desk awaiting his signature. Since the bill is widely considered to be must-pass legislation, there is little hope the President veto the measure. In brief, federal employees are almost guaranteed a pay freeze for the remainder of the year.
“Elected leaders have simply lost touch with the realities of the federal workforce today,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “They do not see the anguish families are being put through due to pay freezes, retirement cuts, and furloughs. All they see are line items on a budget that can be slashed at the stroke of a pen. Every one of us needs to speak up on this. The madness must stop somewhere.”
Notably, President Obama has been late to deliver his budget request which is traditionally released in February. The Administration has announced its intentions to increase federal pay by one percent in fiscal year 2014 – a paltry sum after three years of cuts. Nonetheless, even this is considered lavish in comparison to Ryan’s House budget.
The politics are undoubtedly tough on these spending measures, but they are not hopeless. Federal employees have reached a breaking point. Many are looking for ways to get involved in putting a stop to the madness. If you are ready to act, we are ready to help you make your voice heard. If you want to become a part of the solution, contact NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.