This week on AFGE's "Inside Government" attendees of the union's annual Legislative and Grassroots Mobilization Conference discuss critical issues facing federal employees. Guests include Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray, Reps. Tom Cole (Okla.) and Chris Van Hollen (Md.), and the Rev. Terry Melvin, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. AFGE Council of Prison Locals Western Regional Vice President Michael Meserve also appears.
After playing defense for much of last year the largest federal-employee union is ready to play offense. American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox gave a fiery speech at the union's annual legislative and grassroots mobilization conference in Washington. Also addressing the AFGE crowd were lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
Lawmakers in districts with large constituencies of federal employees are signaling their support for the bipartisan budget deal announced Tuesday even though it would require new federal workers to contribute a greater share of their paychecks to their retirement benefits. The alternatives -- another government shutdown or a second year of the steep across-the-board sequestration cuts -- would have been worse, they argue.
House Democrats have crafted their own plan to temporarily fund federal agencies when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee announced Thursday he plans to introduce a Democratic alternative to the GOP continuing resolution that would replace automatic budget constraints set to continue into fiscal 2014.
On the In Depth show blog, you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.
The House Rules Committee voted to fast-track legislation extending the pay freeze for federal employees through the end of the fiscal year. Federal workers are now slated to get a 0.5 percent pay increase in March when a stopgap continuing resolution expired. However, the measure approved by the House Rules Committee, introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), would block that increase.
This week on AFGE's "Inside Government" attendees of the union's annual Legislative and Grassroots Mobilization Conference gather to address legislative priorities. Featured guests include Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D- Hawaii, A. Philip Randolph Institute President Clayola Brown, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President Lee Saunders, and Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. Also, tune in for a special report from Capitol Hill at AFGE's joint rally for jobs with AFSCME featuring AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr., Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and more.
AFGE, AFSCME rally against the potential cuts from sequestration as part of their week-long legislative conference. Union members are meeting with lawmakers to ensure they understand the broader impact cuts due to sequestration would have on the nation and the economy.
Many in government are worried about the threat of sequestration, the across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect in January unless Congress and the White come up with an alternative deficit-cutting plan. But federal employee groups and sympathetic lawmakers are also concerned about such alternatives -- if they contain changes to federal employee pay or compensation. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and a slate of federal-employee unions and groups are warning of such proposals in the deficit talks to replace sequestration.
Sens. Mark Warner and Bob Corker and Rep. Chris Van Hollen all believe there is at better than a 50 percent chance Congress and the White House will agree on a budget reduction plan before Jan. 1. But federal pay and benefits, and contract spending remain on the table to be part of the cuts.
On the In Depth show blog, you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.
The House handily approved a bipartisan bill requiring the Obama administration to provide more information about how automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, will be implemented starting in January. While the vote cut across party lines, lawmakers continue to disagree about ways to come up with alternatives.
Congress is demanding more answers about how $1.2 trillion in budget cuts set to take effect in January will be applied across the government. The House Budget Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a bill directing the Obama administration to provide Congress a report that provides specific details about how the spending cuts will affect federal agencies and programs. Meanwhile, the House Armed Services Committee formally requested that the head of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeff Zients, testify before the committee on the "mechanics and impact" of the automatic cuts.
This week on AFGE's "Inside Government" Yitzhak Rabin Center Chair Dalia Rabin honors AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox, who received the 2012 Yitzhak Rabin Public Service Award. Also, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) discusses the Budget Control Act and First Command Financial Services District Advisor Bob Hill provides retirement planning tips for federal employees.