By Josh Hicks
March 19, 2015 at 8:16 PM
A correction to the House Republican budget released this week could mean far deeper cuts for federal employees than the original document suggested, further alarming government workers and their unions already upset about hits they have taken in recent years.
The initial version called for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to identify $100 million in savings over a decade from mandatory spending programs within its jurisdiction, which includes the federal-worker retirement and health plans. But the amount was supposed to be $1 billion — 10 times larger than first advertised.
A drafting error caused the mistake, according to the Republican-controlled House Budget Committee, which corrected the figure during a markup of the legislation Wednesday.
Federal-employee representatives, who had expressed concerns about the lower $100 million figure, renewed their criticism of the Republican budget proposal Thursday.
National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley said federal workers have already contributed $159 billion toward deficit reduction during the Obama administration since 2010 and shouldn’t have to sacrifice more.
“Once again, federal employees are being targeted disproportionately for budget savings because they chose to serve their country,” Kelley said.
Similarly, American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox said that “the real mistake [with the Republican budget] is robbing federal workers of their hard-earned pay and benefits in the first place.”
“Regardless of whether it’s $100 million or $1 billion, any proposal to impose further cuts on federal employees is a slap in the face to America’s workers,” Cox added.
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