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Congress To Federal Workers We Have Your Back!

I have talked a lot about the attacks on workers in the Federal Sector.  Lately there has been much discussion about the Lame Duck Session and Sequestration.  As the session opens a surprising move is made by nine members of the US House.

Government Executive reports that these Representatives have already signed a letter to all members that the Federal Employees have ‘paid their fair share’.

Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va.; Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Frank R. Wolf, R-Va.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va.; Robert J. Wittman, R-Va.; Donna F. Edwards, D-Md.; John P. Sarbanes, D-Md.; and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., all signed the letter.

It is no surprise that all of these Reps surround the Washington D.C. area since these districts are very heavily populated with Federal workers.

“We respectfully request that you carefully consider the implications that any proposed agreement would have on these Americans so that it reflects the substantial budget savings that the federal workforce has contributed thus far.”

Over the last two years Congress has trimmed the budget to a tune of $103 Billion dollars  right from the Federal workers pockets.  They accomplished this with combination of pay freezes and an increase in retirement contributions.

These nine House Reps are not alone.  The Senators are already making their statements to leave the Feds out of the debt deal.

“Sen. [Daniel] Akaka opposes using any employee benefit as a pay-for because federal workers are already sacrificing with the pay freeze and changes to annuity contributions for new employees,” Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for the Hawaii Democratic senator, told Government Executive.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Government Executive he thinks federal employees have paid their fair share.

“Federal workers have already sacrificed tens of billions of dollars over the past several years toward reducing the deficit,” Cummings said. “House Republicans should stop treating middle-class federal employees like a piggy bank they can raid without asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute their fair share. If we’re serious about resolving the fiscal cliff, we must take a balanced approach that includes both increased revenue and targeted spending cuts while protecting middle-class American workers.”

Labor unions have been up and down the hill working to protect the pay of the members. Recently a coalition of Postal and Federal unions wrote a letter of their own to Congress. They stated

“Federal and postal employees and their families are hardworking, middle-class Americans who are struggling during these tough times just like other Americans,” the group wrote. “No other group has been asked to financially contribute the way they have, and it is time our nation’s leaders found other ways to reduce the deficit than continually taking from those who have dedicated their lives to public service.”

Federal employees must protect themselves from the crushing cuts that could be coming down on Federal workers.  With the help of some very powerful unions and allies on both sides of the aisle, the Federal employees may just make it through this round of budget cuts.

Do You Think We Can Cut Our Way Out Of The Deficit?

Are you one of those people who think that we can cut our way out of this current budget crisis?  If you said Yes, then you must watch this video.  It will show what our government would look like if we cut 1.3 Trillion dollars from the Federal Budget.

The narrator of this video is Carolyn Federoff a Vice President in the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE Local 3258).  She explains only the facts of how our Federal Budget works and how much money is spent in the different departments.

With candidates now showing their support for the new “Ryan Plan” this would leave our government in shambles.  Ask you Congressional candidate if they support the Congressman Ryan’s budget plan.  Congressman Guinta has already come out in favor of it.  The Ryan plan would drastically cut medicare, medicade, social security, and hundreds of other agencies.

The NH Citizens Alliance For Action To Host Community Conversations Throughout The State

The NH Citizens Alliance is hosting events across the state with members and activists to debrief the election’s results, make plans for the lame duck session in Congress, and strategize for 2013.

Can’t make it to this event? We have events on other nights in other cities as well. Check them out below.

Concord: Tuesday, 11/20 at our office at 4 Park Street, Suite 304. Email Gordon at gallen@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/116606795166148/.

Keene: Tuesday, 11/20 at 15 Eagle Square. Email Jamie at mandycapach@gmail.com for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/125003597657008/.

Manchester: Tuesday, 11/20 – YWCA NH, 72 Concord Street. Email Kary at kjencks@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/381204075298905/.

Nashua: Tuesday, 11/20 at 92 Main Street, Suite 103 (on the second floor). Email Jillian at jdubois@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/282903698478709/.

North Hampton: Wednesday, 11/ 28 at our temporary canvass office at 44 Lafayette Street, #6. Email Karen at kkelly@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/375446969206491/.

Peterborough: Monday, 11/19 at the Peterborough Town Library, 2 Concord Street. Email Natasha at perez_natasha@hotmail.com for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/338773506220345/.

Plymouth: Wednesday, 11/28 at the Pease Public Library. Email Olivia at ozink@nhcitizensalliance.org for more information and to RSVP or sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/299558923478958/.

Can’t get to any of the above locations, but still want to participate? Host a community conversation in your town! We will provide you with a facilitator’s guide and outline for the program as well as any materials you might need. To host your own community conversation, please email Sarah at swarner@nhcitizensalliance.org.

 

 

 

 

350 Economist Speak Out: Jobs Not Austerity

Today in a nation wide conference call over 350 economists came together to tell people we need ‘Economy Needs Growth and Jobs, Not Austerity‘.  These 350 economists are business leaders and scholars from across the country.   They want to alert everyone to the dangers of making massive cuts to the federal budget would push us back into a depression.

As even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recognizes, it is long term unemployment, not excessive deficits or debt, that is now inflicting the greatest human toll and economic damage. Polls show that voters agree joblessness and a bad economy are much higher priorities than deficits.

Yet too many in Washington are fixated on cutting public spending to balance the budget, not on how to put people back to work and get our economy going. There is no theory of economics that explains how we can deflate our way to recovery. Businesses are not basing investment decisions on how much Congress cuts the debt in 2023. As Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Greece have shown, inflicting austerity on a weak economy leads to deeper recession, rising unemployment and increasing misery.

How do we rebuild our economy and create jobs? The answer is simple. We must double down on our reinvestment fundings.  Put people back to work by rebuilding our roads, bridges, and schools.  We can make serious investments for our future.

This is exactly how America pulled out of the ‘Great Depression’.  In 1945, our leaders placed a priority on putting people to work, not cutting spending. So government doubled down with public investments like the GI bill, housing, and highways — and widespread collective bargaining and equal opportunity laws made sure the rewards of growth were widely shared. Today, we need the same scale of public investments that made sure the greatest generation and their children enjoyed growth, opportunity, and shared prosperity.

What we need is a plan not party rhetoric.  We need Congress to pass the American Jobs Act take serious action to create jobs.  Budget cuts will only raise our unemployment stifle any growth and recovery that we have seen in the last four years.

Working Families And The AFL-CIO Tell Congress To Protect Our Future

Working Families Tell Congress To Protect Medicare, Medicaid And Social Security Eliminate Tax Cuts For Wealthiest 2 Percent

Activists kick off nationwide Lame Duck accountability campaign, close to 100 events planned  http://www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture

Image from AFL-CIO Facebook

(Washington, DC, Nov. 8)–Less than 48 hours after the polls closed, working families are in communities across the country calling on their members of Congress to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and to end George Bush’s tax cuts for the richest 2 percent.

Retirees, activists and members of progressive and faith communities will host close to 100 events targeting members of Congress during the upcoming Lame Duck session.  Events will take place outside members’ offices, health clinics, Social Security offices, construction sites and other community locations. In Nashville, Tennessee, working families are gathering for a roundtable with Congressman Jim Cooper to thank him for his pledge to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. In Missoula, Montana, working families are marching to their congressional office.

The AFL-CIO also joined with progressive allies today to run a full-page ad in theWashington Post calling on President Obama and Congress to support Social Security, health care, education, infrastructure, and job creation – while asking everyone, including the wealthiest, to pay their fair share.  The full ad can be seen here:bitly.com/WCEG4G

“Though the election confetti is still on the street, working families are already mobilizing to hold their elected leaders accountable,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “The people advocating for benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are the same folks who want to cut taxes for the richest 2 percent. With working families across the country still struggling, we can’t afford to pay for any more tax breaks for those who need them the least.”

According to an AFL-CIO election night survey of the general public conducted by Hart Research Associates, by a 64% to 17% margin, voters say we should maintain Social Security and Medicare benefits, and address the deficit by increasing taxes on the rich, not by reducing Social Security and Medicare benefits.

For a list of events, see:http://local.americawantstowork.org/protectourfuture

Beware of Lame Ducks

Politico’s like myself toss around the term “lame duck session” like everyone know what that means.  Do you know what a ‘lame duck’ session means? Just in case you do not know let me explain it very quickly.  A ‘lame duck’ session is the time between an election and the when newly elected representatives are inaugurated and seated.

Lame duck sessions are some politicians last chance to get something done before they leave office.  This could also be the chance to change their opinion on a bill because they have already lost the election and they will not be held to that vote.

This is why we must be very cautious with this upcoming lame duck session.  There will no doubt be changes in the U.S. House and possibly in the U.S. Senate.  America is at a crossroads.  When our current Legislators go back to Congress they have a monumental task in front of them and that is the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Now it is commonly called Sequestration.  These force budget cuts could have huge impact on the national economy and will hit New Hampshire hard.

Senator Shaheen called for bipartisan support to fix the sequestration issue.

“It’s not a deficit reduction plan. We need to see some action in Congress, and we need to see it this year. When we get back, I hope people will be focused on this in a way that will help us make progress.”

Senator Ayotte agrees,

“From the Pentagon to New Hampshire’s defense suppliers, there is broad agreement that sequestration would be devastating to our military, our national security, and our economy.”

So while the Senate is working to find real bipartisan solutions the US House is stuck in gridlock.  Both Congressional Houses are blaming each other for locking up legislation.  Congressman Guinta stated in his ‘Frankly Speaking’ editorial (8-2-12)

“Instead of waiting until November, Congress needs to act now. Liberals, conservatives and independents alike agree these matters all carry profound consequences for our economy.”

Here is an idea, quit blaming each other and start blaming yourselves. There are more issues on the horizon than just the budget control act.  The livelihood of the US Postal Service is at risk as well. Yet we do not hear Congressman Guinta talking about the bill that has stalled in the House to correct their overfunding problem.

Bipartisanship is alive and well in the Senate“, Shaheen said, “which managed to pass many significant pieces of legislation that have since languished in the House of Representatives, including reform of the U.S. Postal Service and an overhaul of the farm bill.”

We need Congressman Bass and Congressman Guinta to get back to the US House and help move some of this legislation.  We also need them to understand that there are also programs we need their help to protect from sequestration, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Take three minutes to send a letter to your Congressman not to sacrifice these programs in the upcoming lame duck session.  Help to ensure these cuts will not effect the economic growth we have gained over the last three years.

 

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