Washington, D.C.— A report released today by the White House confirms the devastating impact sequestration would have on federal jobs, our fragile economic recovery and the vital services Americans depend on, said the leader of the nation’s largest independent federal union.
The sequester will cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years, roughly $55 billion from Defense and $55 billion from non-defense spending in 2013. Non-defense discretionary spending will be cut by 8.2 percent. Such budget cuts will lead to furloughs, a loss of public services and a disruption in our economic recovery. The report was a result of a bill passed in Congress last month requiring the president to outline the impact of funding reductions scheduled to take place on Jan. 2, 2013.
“If these cuts move forward, there will be a devastating impact on the federal government with federal agencies forced to either furlough or lay off thousands of workers, threatening the safety and security of the public,” said NTEU National President Colleen M. Kelley. “Sequester will mean the loss of jobs, as well as much-needed services – from border security to food and drug inspection to veterans’ assistance. These losses will have a ripple effect hurting businesses, both large and small, as well as communities across America.”
The report by the Office of Management and Budget states that sequestration puts at risk the safety and security of the American people by reducing the number of border security and law enforcement personnel, limiting food inspections, degrading the ability to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe, and curtailing scientific research.
“Everyone agrees that sequestration is a bad idea and should be avoided,” said President Kelley. “NTEU is deeply concerned about the impact of the mandatory across-the-board cuts on federal agencies and the vital services Americans depend on.”
A recent NTEU survey on federal spending, conducted in conjunction with Ipsos Public Affairs, found that regardless of party affiliation, Americans want to see increased investment in the vital public services federal employees provide, not cuts.
“The economic impact of sequestration could send our economy into a tailspin,” said President Kelley.
In addition, the loss in federal services will also impact the assistance and safeguards that the American people depend on. The White House report found that sequestration would undermine investments vital to economic growth and “shift the burden of deficit reduction onto the middle-class and vulnerable populations and represent the wrong choices for the Nation’s long-term growth and prosperity.”
“We should not do anything that is going to choke off our progress in restoring fiscal strength and put people who provide critical services out of work,” said the NTEU leader.
“We know that many federal agencies are already struggling with insufficient resources,” said Kelley. “People could soon go to the government offices and find longer waits and shorter hours, while out-of-work federal employees will only add to the long unemployment lines and the burden on local communities and state governments.”
For its part, NTEU will be working to avoid sequestration and further cuts to federal pay and retirement, the NTEU leader said. Federal employees have contributed $60 billion over 10 years through a two-year pay freeze and an additional $15 billion through increased retirement contributions from new hires to deficit reduction and economic recovery.
As the largest independent federal union, NTEU represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.
Follow @NTEUNews on Twitter.