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Kelley Warns Critical Services Would Be Undercut by Return to 2008 Budget Levels

Thursday, January 20 2011

Washington, D.C. — The ability to deliver critical public service to the American people is seriously threatened if we turn back the clock to 2008 budget levels, said the leader of the nation’s largest independent union.

“By failing to support federal employees in their critical missions, these proposed funding cuts would endanger food safety, diminish assistance for seniors and those with disabilities, impede businesses’ ability to create new jobs and degrade many services Americans depend on,” said Colleen M. Kelley, president of National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

Kelley warned of these dangers in a letter to members of the House of Representatives on Thursday opposing H.Res. 38, a resolution supporting lowering non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels.

“NTEU strongly urges Congress to recognize the valuable service these agencies provide to the American public each and every day and provide them with the resources necessary to be successful. We urge a no vote on H.Res. 38,” Kelley wrote. The House may take up the non-binding resolution next week.

Kelley underscored how a funding cut would undermine the operations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Patent and Trade Office (PTO).

“Such drastic across the board reductions in funding would severely impact the ability of federal agencies such as the IRS, FDA, SSA and PTO to accomplish their missions, and result in the loss of billions in revenue,” Kelley wrote.

For example, Kelley wrote that returning the IRS to 2008 funding levels would diminish the agency’s ability to provide high quality assistance to taxpayers, while also impeding the agency’s “ability to close the tax gap and generate critical additional revenue needed to bring down the deficit.”

“At a time when federal agencies continue to face staffing shortages and an ever increasing workload, NTEU believes drastic funding cuts would jeopardize their ability to accomplish their missions and result in billions in foregone revenue,” Kelley wrote.

NTEU represents more than 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.

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