December 12, 2013, 07:26 pm
By Mike Lillis and Erik Wasson
Breaking with his fellow Democratic leaders, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Thursday voted against a bipartisan deal to finance the government for the next two years.
The minority whip conceded that the controversial measure was “better than the alternative” of not reaching a deal, but he said he also wanted to make a statement that the package “does not deal with the fundamental issue of long-term fiscal stability.”
The Maryland lawmaker, who represents thousands of current and retired federal workers, acknowledged that his opposition came despite his role in negotiating some of the details of the final bill. Continue reading “Hoyer casts ‘no’ vote in break with Dem leaders”
December 11, 2013 5:13 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — A newly minted budget deal to avert future government shutdowns gained important ground Wednesday among House Republicans who are more accustomed to brinkmanship than compromise, even though it would nudge federal deficits higher three years in a row.
There was grumbling from opposite ends of the political spectrum — conservatives complaining about spending levels and liberal Democrats unhappy there would be no extension of an expiring program of benefits for the long-term unemployed.
Yet other lawmakers, buffeted by criticism after last October’s partial government shutdown, found plenty to like in the agreement and suggested it could lead to future cooperation. The plan was announced Tuesday evening by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and quickly endorsed by President Barack Obama. Continue reading “Key Support For Budget Deal; Deficits Would Rise”
By Vicki Needham, Mike Lillis and Bernie Becker – 12/11/13 05:15 PM EST
The budget deal worked out by House and Senate negotiators is on the verge of unraveling over the exclusion of federal unemployment benefits, several leading Democrats warned Wednesday.
The lawmakers are outraged by a GOP move to add the Medicare “doc fix” to the package but not a continuation of unemployment benefits — a strategy they say could sink the entire package by scaring away Democratic votes.
Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Sandy Levin (Mich.) said the move creates a “new dynamic” undermining Democratic support for the plan announced Tuesday by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Continue reading “Dems threaten budget deal”
AFGE logo. (PRNewsFoto/American Federation of Government Employees)
AFGE rejects notion that there should be trade-off between federal programs and federal employees
WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement in response to the budget deal announced today by the Budget Conference Committee:
“Despite the extraordinarily hard work of several Congressional leaders, AFGE cannot support any budget deal that asks for more from federal employees. AFGE represents more than just the 670,000 federal and D.C government employees on the rolls today, but every other federal worker who will one day take the oath and be forced to live with this needless pension cut.
“AFGE rejects the notion that there should be a trade-off between funding the programs to which federal employees have devoted their lives, and their own livelihoods. Though the $6 billion in increased retirement contributions for new employees is less severe than the administration’s $20 billion proposal, it is still unacceptable.
“Newly hired federal employees already pay 3.1% of their salaries toward their defined benefit pension and 6.2% to Social Security. Forcing employees hired after 2013 to pay an additional 1.3% — for a total of 4.4% — toward their pension will make it all but impossible for them to fund their Thrift Savings Plan accounts. The result will be a serious shortfall in their retirement income security, and a substantial lowering of their standard of living. Continue reading “Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions”