Washington, D.C - The list of lawmakers announcing their opposition to proposed cuts in federal employee retirement benefits is growing, with two new letters from Republicans and Democrats urging their colleagues to protect the pay and pensions of our nation’s civil servants.
“These letters are proof that members of Congress are listening to their constituents,” said National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) President Tony Reardon. “NTEU commends those who have responded and come forward to stand with our nation’s civil servants.”
A group of 18 Democratic senators, led by Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, urged Senate leadership to reject proposals that would unfairly slash paychecks for current employees and reduce pensions for retirees. And 10 House Republicans voiced similar objections to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“These proposed changes, if enacted, would significantly harm the retirement plans that our federal employees have made over the course of decades in public service,” the senators wrote.
The letter from House members notes that almost 31 percent of all federal workers are veterans.
“Recycling discredited proposals targeting federal workers is disruptive to them, and demoralizing to all middle-class civilian worker families,” the House letter states.
NTEU members from around the country have been alerting their elected representatives to the economic harm such cuts would cause in their districts and states.
“Since more than 80 percent of the federal workforce lives outside the Washington D.C. area, this issue resonates in every city and neighborhood in the country,” Reardon said. “NTEU will continue to fight any and all attempts to force federal employees and their families to carry the burden for reducing a deficit that they didn’t cause.”
The senators’ letter said cutting federal pay and pensions will contribute to the looming retirement crisis in which too few families have saved enough, and make it harder for the government to recruit the necessary talent to carry out agency missions and serve taxpayers.
“Federal employees have already sacrificed, giving up $182 billion in pay and benefits since 2010,” Reardon said. “Enough is enough.”
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 31 federal agencies and departments.