AFGE National Council of EPA Locals #238: Why is Congress Ignoring Shadow Government in Reducing Federal Budget?

Dec 13, 2010, 16:01 ET from AFGE National Council of EPA Locals #238

CHICAGO, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees' EPA Labor Council announced today that it sent an open letter to Congress opposing any proposal to single out only a small, select group of Federal employees for a pay freeze.  More than half of the nearly two million federal employees earn less than $70,000 annually, while government contract executives can make as much as $700,000.  If Congress wants to reduce the size of government, it must reduce the shadow government of contractors and grantees.

About one percent of all Americans are millionaires, yet that number approaches 50 percent in Congress.  AFGE Council 238 Treasurer O'Grady asks why millionaires in Congress, who don't need to worry about the economic pressures faced by most Americans, aren't subject to a freeze?  "Just the top 200 government contractors cost the American taxpayers over $543 billion in 2009 alone.  It is not the size of the Federal government workforce that has grown too big, but the size of the shadow government which employs more than four times as many workers, with some salaries being four times what Congressional Representatives and Senators make," stated President Chuck Orzehoskie.

"AFGE Council 238 calls upon Congress to oppose a freeze of federal pay as outlined by President Obama, unless they can find an equitable way of 'sharing the pain' with all government employees including military personnel, government contractors, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, and federal court judges and workers," added O'Grady.

"It's easy to demonize (and demoralize) federal employees.  However, if you look at it carefully, and if you really want to cut federal spending, you have to cut the shadow government.  This ill-thought out effort on the part of the Administration and Congress to save money on the backs of Federal employees while giving tax breaks to millionaires who don't need it, is just plain wrong and un-American," concluded Orzehoskie.

AFGE Council 238 represents over 10,000 highly dedicated employees working within the U.S. EPA nationwide through locals at EPA Headquarters, Research Triangle Park (NC), 10 Regional Offices, the National Health & Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in Corvallis and Newport (OR), National Vehicle & Fuel Emissions Laboratory (Ann Arbor, MI), and the Robert S. Kerr Research Laboratory (Ada, OK).

CONTACT:  Charles  Orzehoskie (312) 886-2776

SOURCE AFGE National Council of EPA Locals #238