12/22/2017 - On Wednesday Dec. 20, Congress voted to pass a tax bill designed to reward the super wealthy and major corporations with more money. Despite being an unpopular bill opposed by hard-working families across the country, it passed without any bipartisan support and awaits the president’s signature to be signed into law.
With this bill:
- Corporations get permanent tax relief. In a decade’s time, the richest 1% will get 80% of the tax benefits while, in the long run, workers will be paying higher taxes.
- It will immediately cut Medicare funding and repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, causing around 13 million people to lose their health insurance by 2027, while increasing premiums for everyone covered by the legislations.
- It will eliminate your ability to deduct more than $10,000 in state/local property or income taxes.
In addition, more than $1.5 trillion will be added to the federal deficit over the next ten years, which is bad news for public-sector employees. Remember, earlier this year, President Trump and lawmakers attempted to reduce the federal deficit by massively cutting federal/postal employee pay and benefits as part of budget reform. We fought back and stopped these cuts because we were organized and made our voices heard – and with your help we can do so again!
For now, the government is staying open as a result of a Continuing Resolution.
Before leaving town for the holiday break, Congress passed a short-term spending extension (called a Continuing Resolution) that will keep the federal government open through Jan. 19, 2018. They are heading home for an 11-day district work period, returning to D.C. on Jan. 3.
When they return they will continue work on a two-year budget deal prior to passing a larger and longer-term spending bill to fund the government into 2018. These negotiations may continue to put federal/postal pay and benefits at risk. We will keep you apprised of what you can do to help continue to win the fight for an economy that works for all.
After the holiday “is an ideal time to reach out to your elected officials with calls and visits to relay our steadfast position that federal and postal workers and retirees should not be used as a piggy bank for Congress as they look for ways to offset the debt,” said President Mark Dimondstein.
When they return, APWU members will be ready. Together we will pressure them to oppose any budget that includes provisions such as:
- Increasing employee pension contributions into FERS, amounting to a pay cut of thousands of dollars a year for each FERS postal employee.
- Taking away the Social Security supplement for FERS employees who retire before they are eligible for Social Security benefits.
- Eliminating Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) on FERS retirement benefits and reducing COLAs for current civil service retirees.
“We know we can win when we make our voices heard,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard. “As we head into the new year, we must resolve to fight back all attempts to undermine the pay and benefits of working-class families, and we must increase ferocity as 2017.”
If you haven’t already signed up, be sure to join the Legislative & Political Department’s email list to receive the most up-to-date actions you can do to promote legislation that supports working families.