Yesterday (Thursday), the House leadership scheduled a vote to extend the payroll tax cut and has decided to hold off on taking up H.R. 3813 until after the Presidents’ Day recess. H.R. 3813, which is a devastating bill for federal and postal workers, calls for massive cuts to CSRS and FERS retirement benefits.
There is an unemployment insurance extension provision in the payroll tax deal that is slated to be paid for through an increase in retirement contributions from future federal and postal employees. This would raise contributions to 3.1 percent for new or rehired employees starting in 2013—an increase of 2.3 percent, up from the 0.8 percent current FERS employees contribute.
“While the NALC supports unemployment insurance for the nation’s workforce, we believe in shared sacrifice, not in targeting the next generation of federal and postal workers to pay for such a safety net on their own,” said President Rolando. Just as federal and postal employees should not be singled out and required to pay down the national debt, or to fund the highway bill, through an increase in their retirement contributions, he said, future employees should not be penalized either.
Federal and postal employees continue to have allies in Congress. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D, MD-8th), the House Minority Whip, expressed his disdain with the House leadership’s position. “The ongoing efforts to target federal workers will substantially undermine our ability to recruit and retain the quality of people we need to carry out duties to keep our country safe, efficient, and equipped to compete in our increasingly competitive world.” Click here to read Rep. Hoyer’s full statement.
A vote is expected this morning (February 17).