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LAS VEGAS- One thousand federal workers and union activists from the American Federation of Government Employees and the AFL-CIO gathered outside a GOP fundraiser attended by Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan last night to draw attention to the devastating budget cuts that the congressman has proposed.
AFGE members, who are in Las Vegas for the union´s National Convention, joined with the Nevada AFL-CIO to protest outside the Venetian Hotel where Ryan attended a fundraiser sponsored by casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who has already donated $10 million to a political action committee supporting the Romney campaign.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Ryan authored a budget plan endorsed by former Gov. Mitt Romney that delivers more tax breaks to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans while slashing vital federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Outgoing AFGE National President John Gage led the protesters in a chant denouncing the Romney-Ryan economic plan, shouting "Romney Hood, Ryan Hood, not in our neighborhood." Union activists held signs reading "Paul Ryan: Hustling for the 1%," "Romney/Ryan Road to Ruin," and others.
"Governor Romney's selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate indicates just how much contempt this ticket will have for the federal workforce and the vital programs we deliver to the American public each and every day," Gage said.
The grand economic recovery plan offered by Romney and Ryan is to deliver more tax breaks to the millionaires and billionaires, oil companies and Wall Street firms who continue to score record profits while the rest of the country struggles to recover, AFGE officials said. American companies would receive lucrative new tax incentives to move jobs overseas, worsening the employment prospects of the millions of Americans who remain out of work. And programs like Medicare and Medicaid, food inspections, veterans health care and so many others would see their funding slashed.
"We think the choice of Ryan, with his extremely specific anti-federal employee budget proposals, makes it crystal clear that the Ryan budget will be the plan for the Romney Administration," AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten said.