Federal Managers Association
- FMA NATIONAL PRESIDENT CONDEMNS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR ADVERSARIAL AND INCENDIARY MISNOMER OF “STOP GOVERNMENT ABUSE WEEK” - February 28, 2014
Alexandria, VA – Federal Managers Association (FMA) President Patricia Niehaus called on the U.S. House of Representatives to refrain from using the inaccurate and politically-charged phrase of “Stop Government Abuse Week” as they have named this week. Not only is it insulting and gives the appearance that those in government intend to “abuse” their positions for personal gain, it does not accurately describe the goals of the legislation introduced.
Unlike the “Stop Government Abuse Week” in July 2013, the bulk of the legislation considered this week was not overt attacks on federal employees, but bills calling for improved efficiency and transparency. Many of the bills were bipartisan, and several of them were reported out of committee by voice vote. Said President Niehaus, “Our concern with this week’s House docket is the title of the week: ‘Stop Government Abuse.’ It is ill-advised, at best, and insulting at worst. It is needlessly adversarial and incendiary, and it conveys a message that all men and women of the federal workforce are somehow mistreating their fellow citizens. We agree that ‘Improving Government Efficiency’ is not as catchy as ‘Stop Government Abuse,’ but at least it demonstrates that we’re all on the same team.” In fact, FMA supports much of what is included in the bills which is in line with FMA’s efforts to improve efficiency and cut costs throughout government.
However, of special concern to FMA is the legislation directed specifically at the men and women of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who work hard to fulfill their congressionally-mandated duties. These dedicated employees collect our nation's revenues; safeguard our country against fraud; and, provide deserving citizens with tax refunds. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen recently testified before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight that the IRS budget has been cut by seven percent since 2010, despite the fact the population of taxpayers has increased and IRS personnel has decreased by 10,000 employees. Some in Congress have called for a nearly 25 percent reduction in the IRS budget. Niehaus commented that, “Congress should focus on how to provide the IRS with the resources it needs to fulfill its vital mission, rather than bully these employees who ensure America collects the revenues needed to pay Members of Congress and for the many vital services provided by the federal government.”