Coalition asks Congress not to force federal employees to finance payroll tax holiday

A coalition of federal and postal worker organizations has written a letter to Congress asking that it defeat legislation that would pay for an extension of the payroll tax holiday by taking the money from federal workers:

On behalf of the nearly five million federal and postal workers and retirees represented by the national member organizations of the Federal-Postal Coalition, we respectfully urge you to reject proposals to finance the extension of the Social Security payroll tax holiday by reducing federal and postal pay and benefits. The House-approved legislation, H.R. 3630, would finance the extension by extending the two-year federal pay freeze for a third year and require all federal and postal employees to contribute more for their retirement benefits. A measure previously considered in the Senate, S. 1944, would finance the payroll tax holiday by other alternatives, without unfairly placing the financing burden on the backs of federal and postal workers and retirees.

Federal employees are facing the possibility of job losses based on funding cuts mandated in the debt ceiling agreement, and as a result, agencies are having difficulties delivering the services the American public needs and wants now more than ever. Reducing the size of the federal workforce will only exacerbate these problems, especially in critical service areas including law enforcement, public health, national defense, and the delivery of care and benefits to veterans, the elderly and the disabled. Moreover, in many areas, government agencies collect revenues that help to pay their operational costs. Staffing reductions likely will reduce those revenues. Similarly, postal employees are continuing to endure several years of workforce cuts caused by reduced mail volume and the economic recession. Additionally, the United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to reduce mail delivery, close or consolidate thousands of post offices and postal plants, and reduce service standards. Not only will this reduce mail service for the American public, but these cuts will eliminate tens of thousands of jobs at precisely the wrong time for the American economy.

Federal-Postal Coalition letter