WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage today issued the following statement in response to the debt limit deal announced Sunday by Congressional leaders and the White House:
“The manufactured debt crisis is over for now, but the real crisis looms larger than ever. More than 14 million Americans have lost their jobs, and this debt deal does nothing to get them back to work. In fact, these massive spending cuts will undermine our slow economic growth. As a result, more Americans will find it tougher to get a job. If this debt deal leads to a double dip recession, more Americans may be laid off.
“Federal agencies will have to cut $7 billion from their current budgets under the first phase of this debt deal. This could mean cutting tens of thousands of federal jobs like Social Security claims representatives, doctors and nurses at VA hospitals, Border Patrol agents and EPA scientists.
“More spending cuts are just around the corner, and this debt deal lays the groundwork for substantial cuts to vital federal programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In the meantime, this agreement does nothing to roll back the Bush-era tax cuts that have benefited the wealthiest Americans and corporations. In fact, there is no guarantee that the government will generate any additional revenue under this debt deal.
“Right now America needs to focus on creating jobs and lowering unemployment, rather than cutting spending and undermining the economy.”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 750,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.