Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions

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Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions

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”

U.S. budget deal could usher in new era of cooperation

U.S. budget deal could usher in new era of cooperation

By Richard Cowan and David Lawder 48 minutes ago
Murray and Ryan hold a news conference to introduce The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan budget deal announced in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, while modest in its spending cuts, would end nearly three years of partisan stand-offs between Democrats and Republicans that culminated in October with a partial government shutdown.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Paul Ryan appeared before reporters to announce the $85 billion budget accord, which still must be approved by the full Senate and House of Representatives.

“For far too long compromise has been considered a dirty word,” Murray said, adding that the uncertainties created by three solid years of Washington bickering “was devastating to our economic recovery.” Continue reading “U.S. budget deal could usher in new era of cooperation”

Weary budget negotiators near deal to avert standoff

The Seattle Times

Weary budget negotiators near deal to avert standoff

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are nearing a budget deal that amounts to little more than a cease-fire.

By Lori Montgomery The Washington Post

  Sen. Patty Murray

Sen. Patty Murray

WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington.

The deal expected to be sealed this week on Capitol Hill would not significantly reduce the debt, now $17.3 trillion and rising. It would not close corporate tax loopholes or reform expensive health-care and retirement programs. It would not even fully replace sharp spending cuts known as the sequester, the negotiators’ primary target.

After more than two years of constant crisis, the emerging agreement amounts to little more than a cease-fire. Republicans and Democrats are abandoning their debt-reduction goals, laying down arms and, for the moment, trying to avoid another economy-damaging standoff. Continue reading “Weary budget negotiators near deal to avert standoff”

Impact of budgetary hit to federal retirement weighed

Impact of budgetary hit to federal retirement weighed

Requiring federal employees to pay more toward their retirement benefits would have an uncertain effect on recruitment of new workers but likely would spur some current employees to leave earlier than they would have otherwise, according to a recent analysis done for Congress.

Increasing the required contributions, and the potential impact of doing so, has been under consideration in negotiations over budget levels for the remainder of the current government fiscal year and for fiscal 2015.

Budget deal in the offing? Outlines emerge, details sketchy, support iffy.

Christian Science Monitor

Budget deal in the offing? Outlines emerge, details sketchy, support iffy.

House and Senate negotiators appear to be nearing an agreement that would set government funding levels for the next two years – and avoid another shutdown come January. As always, the devil will be in as-yet-undisclosed details.

By , Staff writer / December 6, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. discusses the unfinished work of Congress and the struggle for Republican and Democratic budget negotiators to reach a compromise, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday. She is joined by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., left, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Washington

Don’t exhale just yet, but it looks as if a budget deal to avert a government shutdown in January is taking shape.

The agreement is still as wiggly as Jell-O, and plenty of disagreements could cause it to slide off the plate. But after enduring the first government shutdown in 17 years, no federal budget in four years, and worse-than-dismal public approval ratings for Congress, lawmakers are eager to strike a deal as soon as next week – and then enjoy the holidays without the prospect of another budget showdown next month.

If a deal firms up and gets approved by the House and Senate, it will mark a pause, at least, in the fiscal wars that have taken a toll on Washington, the US economy, and the public since 2011. That’s when Republicans leveraged the need to raise the US debt limit to try to extract budget cuts from Democrats. Continue reading “Budget deal in the offing? Outlines emerge, details sketchy, support iffy.”

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