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U.S. House of Representatives Passes FY 2018 Budget Resolution

U.S. House of Representatives Passes FY 2018 Budget Resolution
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 71) by a vote of 219 to 206. Just as it did when it passed out of committee on July 19, the Republican budget resolution – which provides a blueprint for how Congress may fund the government for FY 2018 – contains recommended reforms to federal employee retirement benefits. The NATCA National Executive Board sent an e-mail to inform members about the 2018 Budget Resolution shortly after it passed through committee.

The budget resolution directs other House committees to make significant cuts to federal spending over the next 10 years. In particular, the resolution directs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) – which has jurisdiction over federal employee issues including compensation, health benefits, and retirement programs – to cut $32 billion over the next 10 years.

Although it is too soon to know what specific cuts the OGR Committee will propose, the majority of these cuts are expected to come from federal employee benefit and retirement programs. Based on some of the proposals we have seen in the past, as well as those that were included in the President’s budget blueprint, it is likely we will see anti-federal employee proposals such as:

  • Eliminating the FERS supplemental retirement payments, including for those who are subject to mandatory retirement, such as air traffic controllers, firefighters, and federal law enforcement officers;
  • Cutting take-home pay for federal workers who participate in FERS by making them pay substantially higher contributions (six percent increase phased-in over six years); and
  • Transitioning new federal employees to a defined contribution retirement system, eliminating the FERS defined benefit pension/annuity (meaning that the retirement plan for new federal employees would include only Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)).

As the NEB mentioned in July, it is important to remember that this budget resolution does not have the force of law, but it is a significant step in the process. It is only a blueprint, and separate legislation will be required to enact any changes to federal employee benefits.

As this process continues, NATCA will fight these and all other proposals that would harm both our active and retired NATCA members’ retirement benefits. We will work closely with the various committees and members of Congress to address these and other issues of interest to NATCA members.

As always, if you have questions or would like more information about any legislative issue, please contact your regional NATCA Legislative Committee member. Their contact information may be found here.