In a renewed attempt to scapegoat public service employees for the financial crisis Wall Street created, Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas this week introduced legislation that would amend the federal employee pension system to base their pension on the highest five years of salary, instead of the highest three years. This would rob the employees of a big chunk of the pensions they have worked hard for their entire careers.
Westerman’s excuse in introducing the bill – reducing the deficit – doesn’t really hold up when, in one of his very first votes after taking office in January, he voted to pass a bill that would undo a slew of Wall Street reforms, including a rule that forbids commercial banks from engaging in high-risk trading that helped cause the financial crisis.
"We strongly oppose Rep. Westerman's bill. Federal employees already have lost $159 billion in earnings due to pay freezes, pension cuts, and similar maneuvers that made them the scapegoat for an economic downturn they had no part in creating,” said AFGE President J. David Cox, Sr. “Federal employees are working class people just like most other Americans, and singling them out for more pain and sacrifice is just plain wrong."
The bill, H.R. 1230, has been sent to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.