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03.07.17

IFPTE Weighs in with OMB on Federal Employee Budget Concerns

In a letter to OMB Director, Mick Mulvaney, IFPTE urged the Administration to responsibly preserve and create federal and private sector jobs by making, “the federal government more efficient, more productive, and more responsive to the needs of the taxpayer, while also stimulating the economy as a major force multiplier.” Read the full letter below.

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March 7, 2017

Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
725 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20503

Dear Director Mulvaney:

As the OMB works to finalize the 2018 President’s Budget Blueprint, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, representing thousands of highly skilled and dedicated federal employees across the nation, recommends the following:

Repeal sequestration for both military and discretionary spending: We agree with the Administration that sequestration is a threat to our national security and should be eliminated. We ask that the Administration state clearly to Congress that the President’s fiscal priorities and economic agenda will be harmed if arbitrary caps currently in place are allowed to remain. The President should demand an end to the job-killing sequester and a return to funding based on merit and value, not on arbitrary and capricious limits. Lastly, the proposed ramp up of the military should be achieved over a three-year period to guarantee efficient and proper use of the funding.

Extend strategic workforce planning to the contractor workforce: We are pleased that the Administration recognizes that federal agencies have routinely flaunted workforce planning caps by creating expensive work contracts that have not only exploded the cost of labor across the federal government, but also have corrupted the handling of inherently governmental and critical functions. As agencies complete their workforce plans, please direct them to plan for the entire workforce, with internal contract labor limited exclusively to those positions for which outsourcing has been determined to generate documentable savings and not to intrude on inherently governmental, ‘closely associated’ inherently governmental, and critical functions. Consistent with the President’s emphasis on national security, we urge a ramp up at some critical non-DoD agencies. Any federal workforce downsizing, if deemed necessary, should be achieved gradually, first by a reduction in contract labor, followed by voluntary attrition methods for civil servants. Reductions-in-Force are counterproductive, discriminatory, and anti-veteran.

Include federal infrastructure in infrastructure revitalization: We support the Administration’s proposal to invest a trillion dollars in America’s highways, bridges, airports, harbors, dams, and hospitals, but we ask that OMB not forget our naval shipyards, federal laboratories, Army Corps locks & dams, and other federal facilities that have also been neglected for decades. This investment will not only create good private and public sector jobs across the country, but lift critical federal facilities into the 21st century so that they may better serve the nation.

Achieve deficit reduction in part through progressive revenue enhancement: In the 1990’s, America had a tax system that generated surpluses. Subsequent tax cuts for wealthy individuals under recent past Administrations put the budget out of balance and did little to stimulate the economy. We ask that the Administration’s proposed tax reform include progressive revenue enhancement from the upper end of income earners, based on both earned and unearned income. A fair-share contribution from wealthier Americans could then be used: 1) to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, 2) to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure, 3) to strengthen vital governmental functions in defense of our national security, 3) to modernize our energy generation and distribution functions, and 4) to reassert America’s unquestioned leadership in science and technology in support of increased economic competitiveness, improved health and safety, and thoughtful preservation of our land, air, and water. In this way, the federal government could then meet its responsibility to foster economic growth and to enhance the quality of life for all of our citizens (including the well-to-do) for generations to come, while also creating good private- and public-sector jobs for Americans across the country who are not among the top income earners.

IFPTE looks forward to working with OMB to make the federal government more efficient, more productive, and more responsive to the needs of the taxpayer, while also stimulating the economy as a major force multiplier. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your staff contact Matthew Biggs, IFPTE legislative director at mbiggs@ifpte.org or 202-239-4880.

Thank you for your consideration of the above recommendations.

Sincerely,

Gregory J. Junemann,
President

Gay Henson
Vice President, Eastern Federal Area

Lee Stone
Vice President, Western Federal Area

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RELATED:
3/1/2017 - Trump's Budget Plan Brings Uncertainty, Layoff Fears (Washington Post)

IFPTE's Letter to OMB Director Mulvaney

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