WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement regarding passage of legislation funding the federal government through the end of September:
"The continuing resolution passed by the House and Senate is a mixed blessing. It ensures the federal government will remain open for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Yet without new budget authority, most agencies don't have the funding they need to hire, train and retain new workers; to invest in new research or programs that would benefit Americans; or to provide vital oversight of private-sector contractors and third-party recipients of federal funds to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.
"In addition, the CR denies federal employees the modest half-percent pay raise that was to take effect in April, meaning federal employees will have gone three years without a pay increase – even as they are being asked to do more with less and now face the prospect of going weeks without a paycheck because of sequestration.
"What's more, the continuing resolution does nothing to end the massive, across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. Agencies are still on the hook for more than $1 trillion in reckless and draconian spending cuts over 10 years unless Congress repeals sequestration.
"However, Congress did provide some agencies, particularly the Defense and Agriculture departments, with funding flexibility that should allow them to revisit previously announced personnel actions, including furloughs and firing of temporary and term employees. Instead of imposing such actions indiscriminately, these personnel decisions should be based on mission requirements, program needs and other priorities.
"We will press the administration to ensure that agencies use this flexibility, while continuing to press Congress for the permanent repeal of sequestration."
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees