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NTEU Leader Condemns Bill That Threatens Vital Government Services

Thursday, November 3 2011

Washington, D.C. — The president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) condemned a misguided bill approved today by a House committee that threatens vital government services that the American people depend on and expect. The bill, H.R. 3029, sponsored by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), seeks a 10 percent reduction of the federal workforce by 2015.

“The bill undermines critical government services for the American people, ranging from defending our borders to safeguarding our food and drugs to assisting taxpayers and processing tax refunds,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said. “The list goes on and on. Yet, this legislation fails to consider the negative impact on those services.”

Kelley noted that the bill proposes to arbitrarily cut the number of federal employees, regardless of how that will affect agencies and their ability to fulfill vital missions. She noted that at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there would be 6,000 fewer employees to protect the border; at the Food and Drug Administration, there would be 1,250 fewer employees who monitor food and drug supplies; and, at the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), inventors and small businesses would have 1,000 fewer staff to provide assistance and help spur the economy.

“At the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alone, this bill could cost as many as 9,400 employees their jobs,” Kelley said. “This reckless cut would mean less assistance for taxpayers, delayed tax refunds, reduced ability to crackdown on tax cheats, and the loss of billions of dollars of critical revenue needed to address our national deficit and fund essential government services.”

Also today, the House committee approved the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011 (H.R. 3289), which will strengthen whistleblower protections for federal employees.

“While additional improvements could be made, this whistleblower bill is a step forward in reforming key protections and providing federal employees with the support they need to keep government free from fraud, waste and abuse,” Kelley said.

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

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