The Billings Outpost

Avoid federal cutbacks

Bless the dedicated federal employees who work for a cause greater than themselves. Our president and Congress have frozen their salaries for two years for a savings of $103 billion.

Yes, one hundred and three billion dollars. This is to the disparagement of federal services. We are the Giant Piggy Bank!

The House passed H.R. 273, which will extend the pay freeze through 2013.  On top of the pay freeze, sequestration became a reality. Federal agencies are putting their employees on furlough for as many as 22 days this year, which equals a 20 percent pay cut.

Montana will feel the pain. There are more than 12,500 federal employees in the state. There are more than 12,500 federal retirees. We are not takers, we are contributors. We didn’t cause this financial mess, but we are paying for it.

People’s livelihoods are at stake. There are proposals to cut retirement benefits. Fundamental services are already suffering. Eighty-five percent of federal employees are outside the beltway.

Local TV stations have shown the national park cutbacks. Airport lines are slower going through security. Lines are longer going into some federal buildings to get through security with the number of entrances cut back. 

Our senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, know about federal employees and their importance to the Montana economy. A note to remind them would not hurt. Our freshman Congressman Steve Daines needs to hear from those of you who are affected by the pay freeze and sequestration.  He supported H.R. 273. Don’t stand by and watch Congress weaken our federal workforce and the vital services it provides us all.

Janice Erfle

National Active and Retired Federal Employees



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