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The House is planning on voting on another Pay Freeze next Wednesday, January 23rd. We need you to call your Representative immediately so they don’t vote for it. Monday is a federal holiday, so we only have today, tomorrow, and next Tuesday to get this done. The most effective way you can get your message across is to call your Representative’s office number directly. You can find their office number online at www.house.gov. But if you don’t have access to that information, you can also call your Representative at 1-888-775-3148 to tell them to vote NO on another Pay Freeze. Here is the phone script for the call. After you have made your call, please record it here so we know that you have done your part in this fight.
The bill that they are voting on, H.R. 273, proposes to freeze Congressional and federal pay for the rest of calendar year 2013. Congressional pay has already been frozen via the Fiscal Cliff deal that was signed on January 1st, so freezing Congressional pay again is redundant. This is a Republican effort to punish federal employees, and they are trying to pressure other Representatives into voting for it by linking it to Congressional pay.
If this vote passes, it sends the message to Congress that it’s OK to continually look to federal employees as scapegoats. We need this bill to fail in the House, so the Senate understands that gutting federal pay and pension is not an option. Congress is getting addicted to taking from federal employees. We need to cut that addiction now, or they will be turning to us for every budget problem that comes along.
The message we need you to send to your Representative is to vote NO on H.R. 273. Here is the phone script for the call. And here are a few talking points:
1. It is crucial that one fact be understood—the vote on H.R. 273 will NOT be about a pay raise for Members of Congress. As House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R-CA) acknowledges in his press release in support of H.R. 273: “The President’s executive order would have facilitated a pay increase for Members of Congress. The House and Senate, however, voted down the congressional pay increase earlier this year.” The vote on H.R. 273 is not about whether Congressional lawmakers, who earn $174,000 annually, should receive a pay raise. This vote is about whether the GS-3 nursing assistant who makes $27,322 a year tending our veterans, and the GS-7 correctional officer, making $38,790 a year keeping our streets safe, should receive a belated and modest 0.5% pay increase after a freeze of more than two years.
2. Federal workers are on the same salary now as they were in 2010. They are living in 2013 with a 2010 salary. We have already endured a two year pay freeze and sacrificed $103 Billion towards the deficit. That’s $50,000 PER PERSON that we couldn’t afford to sacrifice in the first place. We are not Congress’s ATM.
3. While government employees are constantly having our pay frozen and pensions cut, contractors have not had to sacrifice a penny. If your Representative is really intent on saving taxpayer money, tell them to put a cap on contractor pay so the American people won’t get charged $763,029 for a contractor employee. No one in the federal government makes that much money. Congress should start turning to contractor waste instead of targeting federal employees who are already struggling to get by.
We need you to as many calls as possible, as soon as possible, between now and Wednesday to your Representatives. Please make your call to your Representative as a Local President, and ask your Executive Board to do the same. If you can get your Local members to also call, that would be even better. The toll free number we need you to call is 1-888-775-3148. Here is the phone script for the call. Make the call today, and call them tomorrow and on Tuesday as well. After you have made your call, please record it here so we know that you have done your part in this fight. Thank you for everything that you do.
J. David Cox, Sr.