Posted: October 25, 2010
Analysis: What does public anger mean for feds?
With much of public opinion against feds, federal pay, benefits and hiring have become both a rallying point for Republican midterm candidates and a target of potential government cost-cutting in the current Democratic administration.
According to Federally Employed Women's congressional score card, feds had allies in the 111th Congress who voted against anti-fed legislation. That support, however, could change after the midterm elections.
Janet Kopenhaver, the Washington representative at FEW, told the DorobekINSIDER that there was a "flurry of legislation" for federal furloughs and pay freezes introduced at the end of this session. She predicted more of these kinds of bills in the next session.
"We know the next Congress is going to be a much tougher fight for us," Kopenhaver said. "We're going to be fighting more bills instead of working for passage of more bills."
Kopenhaver said she understands that people are impacted by the economy and are turning to federal compensation as one solution, but bills — such as the one that calls for 10 days of federal furlough in 2011 — ignore the need for feds to work so they can deliver services.
"It's easy to say furlough, but then what happens?" Kopenhaver said. "The work is still going to be at that high level, and Americans are still going to expect those services."
Kopenhaver also said arguments that federal pay is higher than the private sector are misguided, comparing "apples to oranges" because there are more minimum wage jobs outside of the federal workforce, Kopenhaver said.