Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Republican Study Committee releases their own FY20 budget

Today, the 123-member conservative caucus released its outline for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget ahead of the upcoming appropriations discussions. The framework, titled “Preserving American Freedom,” would raise military spending to $745 billion in FY20 (from $716 billion in FY19) and cut non-defense spending to $349 billion (from $597 billion in FY19). Overall, the proposed budget would result in $12.6 trillion in cuts from discretionary spending over a ten-year period.

Like past years and past proposals, this blueprint is merely a ‘wish-list’ for the Republican Study Committee (RSC) membership and highly unlikely to make it into any actual appropriations legislation, especially now as Democrats control the House of Representatives.

Regardless of the likelihood of these proposals being adopted or not, it is important for letter carriers to be aware of what RSC members are calling for.

As they have in years past, these conservative lawmakers want a radical transformation of the civil service and a removal of worker protections, starting by forcing all federal employees to become at-will. This would mean all federal employees could be removed or suspended without due process. These workers would be subject to the whims of political appointees overseeing federal agencies and could be fired without notice or right to appeal for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.

The RSC member ‘wish-list’ doesn’t stop there, though. Other provisions in the budget proposal include:

  • Ending the use of official time for federal union officials
  • Capping federal hiring to one employee in for every three who leave
  • Ending across-the-board federal raises
  • Ending automatic raises for federal employees
  • Increasing FERS contributions
  • Eliminating COLAs for FERS employees
  • Reducing COLAs for CSRS employees
  • Replacing the CSRS and FERS average pay period from high-three to high-five
  • Eliminating FERS annuity supplements
  • Reducing the TSP’s G Fund interest rate
  • Increasing FEHBP premiums for workers

Again, these proposals are not new, we’ve seen them before in past years and in this year’s White House budget proposal. It is important for letter carriers to keep in mind that these harmful ideas are well-supported by at least third of the House of Representatives. They are highly unlikely to find their way into FY20 appropriations bills, but they could find their way into other legislation at a different moment.

It is for these reasons that letter carriers must work to ensure that Congress is comprised of lawmakers who are supportive of letter carriers, USPS, and the federal workforce. NALC encourages letter carriers to reach out to their members of Congress and their Senators and ask them to reject these hurtful cuts.

The Republican Study Committee membership is viewable here.

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