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D.C. delegate supports furloughed feds

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

Federal employees facing furloughs under the sequester are getting some sympathy and support from Washington, D.C.'s non-voting congressional delegate, who has pledged to donate some of her salary in solidarity.

During a Feb. 28 luncheon organized by the National Treasury Employees Union Feb. 28 luncheon, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said if sequestration happens – as it did the next day -- she would donate a day’s pay for each day federal employees are furloughed.

The length of furloughs varies by agency, but Norton said her donations will match the highest number of furlough days by any federal agency. Her donation will be divided between supporting the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund, which assists federal employees in need, and to prevent furloughs among her own congressional staff.

The salaries of members of Congress are exempt from sequestration, but their office budgets are not and will see the same sweeping cuts as federal agencies, Norton said.

“While the salaries of members of Congress enjoy the protection of the Constitution, Congress is visiting pain on its own employees, the American public and the U.S. economy alike,” she said. “The $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts will have a devastating impact on the fragile economic recovery, government services and investments, and particularly federal employees, who have already been subject to a federal pay freeze for more than two years.”

NTEU President Colleen Kelley called Norton’s action noteworthy. “This is a remarkable gesture from a member of Congress who truly understands the value of the federal workforce and the economic pain that employees would experience from losing pay while furloughed,” she said. “It is disappointing that sequestration is imminent, and working together with Congresswoman Norton, NTEU will continue to fight to bring it to an end.”

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 01, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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