(Washington)—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) thanks Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike in the House of Representatives for voting, again, in favor of the Van Hollen Amendment. For the third year in a row, the House of Representatives has voted to repudiate the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) controversial Circular A-76 privatization process. The amendment, offered by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) to the FY06 Transportation-Treasury-HUD Appropriations Bill, which passed by a vote of 222-203, would give lawmakers an opportunity to rewrite the privatization process so that it would be more fair to federal employees and more accountable to taxpayers.
“We will now work closely with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Senate to ensure that strong reform language is in the other chamber’s version of the FY06 Transportation-Treasury-HUD Appropriations Bill,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “We note the relatively muted level of opposition in the OMB’s assessment of the Van Hollen Amendment, and we believe that it represents an understanding that the privatization process must be meaningfully revised to provide federal employees with the same appeal rights enjoyed by contractors, ensure that federal employees must always be allowed to compete before their work is contracted out, allow federal employees to compete for new work and contracted out work, and encourage alternatives to privatization that don’t have the significant costs and controversies associated with privatization.”