House Republicans Vote to Increase Pension Costs on Federal/Postal Employees
Following strict party lines, 218 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted last week to pass H.R. 5652 – the 2012 Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, which includes provisions which, if enacted into law, would impose an additional five percent payroll tax on postal/federal employees’ retirement contributions. The final vote was 218-199, with all Democrats – joined by 16 Republicans – voting against.
The bill faces opposition by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the entire Democratic-controlled Senate. Reid has shown no inclination to take up the House measure.
If passed, the increased contribution would be phased in over five years, first taking effect in January 2013. There would be no corresponding increase in retirement benefits.
“Another day, another Republican-led attack on postal and federal employees,” noted National President John F. Hegarty. “The NPMHU will continue to fight each and every one of these attacks, particularly in light of the tax reductions given to the wealthy 1%.”
Promoted by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), the tax comes on the heels of increases already slated for new employees hired beginning January 1, 2012. It is estimated that, if enacted, this bill imposing an additional 5% contribution on employees would reduce take-home pay by more than $200 each and every month for a mail handler who earns $50,000 a year. The bill also would have other draconian results, as it would leave an estimated 1.8 million Americans without food stamps, cut Medicare by $22.7 billion, and stop a program that helps homeowners facing foreclosure.