The Georgia American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Georgia Student Justice Alliance, Cobb County Residents and the Georgia Rural Urban Summit visited the office of United States Congressman Tom Price(R-GA), Vice Chair of Vice Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. The groups braved freezing rain to deliver a strong message to Congressman Price and members of the budget conference committee. A conference committee has been established to work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget resolution.
“We are asking the conferees to do three things,” explained Yvonne Robinson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Georgia AFL-CIO. “Repeal sequestration and don’t replace it with other harmful cuts; protect Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts; and raise more revenue form Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans. We demand an extension of insurance for unemployed workers because the greatest challenge facing our economy now is the crisis of high unemployment and low wages, not the deficit.”
“It’s time that Congress gets America’s priorities straight. Rather than cutting American’s earned benefits like Social Security, or taking food out of the mouths of hungry children, they should focus on growing our economy through responsible revenue options. Big corporations – like Apple and GE – continue to make record profits while paying nothing in taxes. Many corporations still get a tax break for sending good American jobs overseas. Closing these corporate tax loopholes is a more responsible approach towards fixing our country’s economy. Tis the season for holiday joy. We all deserve more than a “bah humbug,” said Larry Pelligrini, Executive Director of the Georgia Rural Urban Summit (affiliate of U.S. ACTION)
Today we also want to urge Congressman Tom Price and the budget conference committee to end Sequestration but not by forcing any changes to federal retirement or Social Security.
Last year federal employees endured furloughs, cancelled training, hiring freezes, and no replacement of equipment. This year it will be layoffs, permanent furloughs, and nobody wants that. We want sequestration cancelled altogether. Sequestration is hurting the economy and preventing the government from providing services the American people want and need. There is no justification for demanding additional sacrifice from federal employees in a budget deal of any size. We have already sacrificed well over $100 billion in the form of a three-year pay freeze. No other group has sacrificed as much as federal employees have. ” Tracie St. John Murray, AFGE Local 554, Georgia Legislative and Political Coordinator
The groups plan on calling on Democratic leadership to oppose attacks on the retirement security of federal workers and to fight for an extension of insurance for unemployed workers.