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NEWS:

NARFE Legislative Hotline – April 18, 2014

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Amid preparation for and celebration of Passover and Easter, this brief Hotline will cover just three items – March Consumer Price News, Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) and how NARFE members can be part of the solution to end hunger in our nation. I urge you to join me in celebrating our nation’s past and current civil servants during PSRW.”

Public Service Recognition Week, May 4-10, Is Almost Here!

Please join the Public Employees Roundtable, of which NARFE is a member, in celebrating Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW)!

PSRW is a time set aside to honor the women and men who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. Throughout the country, elected officials, agency leaders, communities and public service organizations participate by issuing proclamations, hosting tribute events and highlighting stories of excellence in government service. The theme for PSRW 2014 is “Proud to Serve.” There are a variety of how-to guides to encourage PSRW celebrations nationwide with little or no cost, including letter templates, sample proclamations and tips on organizing events.

NARFE’s Legislative Action Center has been updated to include a Letter to the Editor (LTE) template for members to complete and send to the newspapers in your local area. The “Media Guide” on the Legislative Action Center makes this easy, and adding your own content will make the LTE even more likely to be published.

For those in the area, PSRW kicks off once again with a 5K run/walk in Washington, D.C. on May 4. Everyone is invited to run or walk to show support and appreciation for our country’s dedicated public servants. NARFE is a sponsor of the race, and proceeds will benefit the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA). Register or sign up to volunteer here.

March Consumer Price News

On April 15, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (202-691-6994) reported the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The CPI-W for March is 232.560, an increase of 0.73 percent for the month (the February index was 230.871). At the halfway point in the measurement year, consumer prices have risen 0.97 percent when compared to the 2013 third-quarter base index (230.327). April consumer price indices will be released May 15. More information is available to members on the NARFE website.

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Is May 10th

NARFE is again pleased to support the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the largest one-day food drive in our country, on Saturday, May 10. In solidarity with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA), we urge each NARFE member to plan now to collect and bag nonperishable food items and place the bag by your mailbox for your city or rural letter carrier on Saturday, May 10. The NALC website has more details on the 22nd annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

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NARFE Legislative Hotline – April 11, 2014

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Just ahead of the two-week Easter/Passover Recess, the House passed a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Similar to last year, the House rejected five substitutes before approving, mostly along party lines, House Concurrent Resolution 96. I urge you to read this entire Hotline and review the votes of your own Representative.”

Budget Resolution Wins House Majority

On April 10, the House approved the fiscal year 2015 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 96) introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-WI, by a vote of 219-205. Twelve Republicans joined all Democrats in opposition. Passage came after the House had debated, and defeated, five alternative budget blueprints. One of these, offered by the Republican Study Committee, included a switch to the Chained CPI for the purpose of determining annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). The Ryan budget assumes savings of $125 billion over 10 years by requiring existing federal employees to contribute substantially more toward their retirement. Since funding levels for FY 2015 were set with passage of a two-year budget agreement earlier this year, the Ryan budget is more statement than policy and will not be considered further.

Draw Attention to “Public Service Recognition Week” May 4-10

Since 1985, the first week in May has been designated Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW). It is a time to honor federal, state, county and municipal employees who make our government the best in the world. NARFE’s Legislative Action Center has been updated to include a Letter to the Editor (LTE) template for members to complete and send to the newspapers in their local areas. The “Media Guide” on the Legislative Action Center makes this easy, and adding your own content will make the LTE even more likely to be published.

Protect America’s Heartbeat

Revamped Toolkits Now Available! The updated Protect America’s Heartbeat Toolkits are available! The new resources and guides are available online at http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/resources.cfm. The redesign allows for easier updating and online access for NARFE members. The Toolkit has been divided into six smaller Toolkits. NARFE leaders should take advantage of the new materials as they prepare to visit members of Congress during the Easter/Passover recess, April 13 through 27.

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NARFE Legislative Hotline – April 4, 2014 Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-WI, introduced and won committee approval of his fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget resolution. This budget is a far cry from any notion of shared sacrifice. It ignores the fact that federal employees already have contributed more than $120 billion toward deficit reduction and would squeeze another $125 billion from increased retirement contributions.”

House Budget Resolution Clears Committee

The House budget resolution authored by Rep. Paul D. Ryan was approved by the full Budget Committee on a party-line vote. The Ryan budget is scheduled for House floor consideration during the week of April 7. NARFE’s press release, in which NARFE President Beaudoin likened the budget to an April Fool’s joke, earned media coverage. It is unclear at this time whether Chairman Ryan has the votes to pass his budget through the House. Even if the resolution should pass the House, it will be the last action taken, as funding levels for FY15 were already set in the budget deal earlier this year. It should be a top priority for NARFE members to watch how their representatives vote on the budget.

Legislative Action Center Invites Activists

NARFE support for three recently introduced bills is best demonstrated when members use our Legislative Action Center to share their support with their own representative. Below are links to the three newest letters in our Action Center.
  1. Support a bill by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA, to provide federal employees with a 3.3 percent pay raise, H.R. 4306;
  2. Support a bill by Rep. Mike Honda, D-CA, to use the CPI-E to calculate annual COLAs, H.R. 4202;
  3. Support a bill by Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-WA, to provide back pay to federal employees furloughed as a result of sequestration, H.R. 3744.

Draw Attention to “Public Service Recognition Week,”

May 4-10 Since 1985, the first week in May has been designated Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW). It is a time to honor federal, state, county and municipal employees who make our government the best in the world. NARFE’s Legislative Action Center has been updated to include a Letter to the Editor (LTE) template for members to complete and send to the newspapers in your local area. The “Media Guide” on the Legislative Action Center makes this easy, and adding your own content will make the LTE even more likely to be published.

Protect America’s Heartbeat Revamped Toolkits Now Available!

The updated Protect America’s Heartbeat Toolkits are available! The new resources and guides are available online at http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/resources.cfm. The redesign allows for easier updating and online access for NARFE members. The larger Toolkit has been divided into six smaller Toolkits. NARFE leaders should take advantage of the new materials as they prepare to visit senators during the Easter/Passover recess, April 13 through 26.

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