WASHINGTON – The federal budget proposed by House Republicans proposes huge wage and benefit cuts to federal employees and massive cuts to programs serving many other American families, all to fund unwarranted tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, the head of the largest federal employee union said today.
The budget proposes a minimum of $32 billion in additional pay and retirement cuts to current, future, and retired federal workers – a down payment on President Trump’s proposal to cut $149 billion from employees’ pay and benefits over the next 10 years, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
“Slashing the pay and benefits of America’s civil servants while lining the pockets of the wealthiest of the wealthy is a shameful way to govern the country and is emblematic of everything that’s wrong with this horrible budget,” Cox said.
“While many private-sector companies are increasing retirement benefits for their workers, this budget goes in the opposite direction. It would make it that much harder for federal agencies to recruit and retain the quality employees they need to deliver the programs and services that American taxpayers deserve.”
Federal employees already have incurred $182 billion in cuts to their pay and benefits since the start of the decade. Under the House Budget Resolution, current workers would be forced to pay more of their income toward their retirement, while retirement benefits would be slashed for current and future retirees. The budget would eliminate defined benefit contributions, or pensions, for all newly hired federal employees. And it would eliminate supplemental payments to employees who retire before age 62, such as law enforcement agents and firefighters.
“The budget is a slap in the face to all of the workers who care for our veterans, guard our borders, support our military, and keep our air and water clean,” Cox said. “Taking away retirement income from our law enforcement officers, many of whom are veterans, is particularly venomous.”
Cutting wages and benefits for federal workers is just the tip of the iceberg. The budget would slash at least $203 billion from mandatory programs that help our neediest citizens, including Medicaid, food stamps, and health care.
The budget would abandon the federal government’s obligation to protect our environment by imposing enormous cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency and would push more costs onto cash-strapped state and local governments.