Political power is the ability to persuade Congress and the Executive Branch to act in a manner that is favorable to FMA's interests. During a time of clear divides and strong partisanship, it is imperative to bring to focus on the need for federal managers and supervisors to exercise their political power to protect their interests. This clout supports the overall mission of FMA to advocate excellence in public service through effective management.
The recent years have seen aggressive attacks from Congress on federal pay and benefits. Federal employees endured a pay freeze, cuts to retirement benefits, a sequester that drastically hinders federal agencies and departments' budget, and a sixteen day partial government shutdown. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that FMA's collective voice be heard. Members of Congress need to hear form you on the need for a fully functionally and sustainable federal workforce.
FMA's voice on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch is critical for two reasons:
- FMA is able to play a central role in securing legislative victories on issues such as pay, benefits and good government management, among others.
- Just as significant -- if not more so -- top agency managers are more likely to listen to FMA if they think Members of Congress are also listening to us.
In addition to past obstacles, FMA and its members will see additional challenges in the months and years ahead. The "retirement tsunami," human capital management system changes, rising budget deficits, increasingly scarce resources, and the continual spread of misinformation regarding the vital work of civil servants, make it imperative for FMA to enhance its efforts and activities to continue to build its political power.
FMA members are the true source of FMA's political power and influence. In competing with thousands of special interests groups lobbying on Capitol Hill, it is critical that FMA sustain and strengthen its contact with key Members of Congress. Constituent viewpoints are the most important opinions to Members of Congress. As such, Legislative Action Teams can make the most difference.