Budget Deal Spares Feds’ Pay and Benefits

Budget Deal Spares Feds’ Pay and Benefits

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner is pushing toward a vote on the budget deal even though it is not popular with conservatives.
Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner is pushing toward a vote on the budget deal even though it is not popular with conservatives. Lauren Victoria Burke/AP

The two-year budget agreement unveiled Monday night spares federal employees’ pay and benefits, raises the debt limit and provides some relief from sequestration.

Congressional leaders and the White House rolled out a proposed budget deal for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 that does not contain any provisions targeting the pay or benefits of the federal workforce. Previous budget agreements have not been so favorable for feds: For instance, the 2013 deal increased the amount new government hires must contribute to their pensions.

“We hope our leaders in Washington are learning, finally, that they cannot balance the budget on the backs of federal workers and retirees,” said National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Richard Thissen. The National Treasury Employees Union said it was “relieved” that the budget deal addressed funding “without requiring the federal workforce to make additional sacrifices.”

Continue reading “Budget Deal Spares Feds’ Pay and Benefits”

The next shutdown showdown, by the numbers

The next shutdown showdown, by the numbers

By Mike DeBonis September 15 at 3:47 PM

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are are working to avoid a government shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As the clock ticks toward midnight on Sept. 30 — when federal appropriations will expire and nonessential government functions will shut down if Congress cannot agree on a new spending measure — plenty of attention is being showered on the issues and personalities that could prompt a shutdown.

But it’s also a matter of sheer arithmetic. Whether you’re talking about defunding Planned Parenthood or breaking the budget caps known as sequestration, this shutdown showdown is going to come down to a few key numbers: Continue reading “The next shutdown showdown, by the numbers”

Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage

Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage

 
Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, spoke to members of the media on Tuesday.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York Times

By

Published: December 17, 2013 194 Comments

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan tax-and-spending plan designed to bring some normalcy to Congress’s budgeting after three years of chaos cleared its final hurdle on Tuesday when 67 senators voted to end debate on the measure and bring it to a final vote before it goes to President Obama for his signature.

The 67-33 vote easily surpassed the 60-vote threshold to break a filibuster and made way for final passage with a simple, 51-vote majority, likely on Wednesday. Republican support was surprisingly strong after days of uncertainty fueled by political posturing and Tea Party opposition.

The budget plan would restore $63 billion to defense and domestic programs in fiscal 2014 and 2015 from the levels they would have received if automatic, across-the-board spending cuts were to resume in January. Over 10 years, the plan would decrease cumulative deficits slightly by trimming military and federal worker pensions, extending a 2 percent cut to Medicare providers into next decade and making other changes, like ending federal research for some fossil-fuel discovery efforts. Continue reading “Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage”

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Summary of Elements Impacting Feds:

1. Post-12/31/13 hires will pay an additional 1.3% toward their pensions, for total of 4.4%

2. FEHB will add a ‘self plus one’ option, which inevitably increases family plan premiums

3. Contractor salary reimbursement cap dropped to $487,000

4. The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. (Washington Post) Continue reading “Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points”

Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

J. David Cox, AFGE National President
J. David Cox, AFGE National President AFGE

The budget deal has been struck.

To review, the compromise package to roll back sequestration cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act for two years targets federal employees’ pensions as expected. While current workers were spared, civil servants hired after 2013 would pay 4.4 percent of their annual salaries toward their defined retirement benefit. This marks a 1.3 percent increase from the current contribution requirement for new hires, though any employee hired in or before 2012 pays only 0.8 percent of their salary toward their pension.

Military retirees’ pensions would also take a hit, as the deal requires a less generous annual cost of living adjustment. Overall, the plan takes $12 billion in savings from federal workers. Continue reading “Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes”