U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen decried a Republican budget plan Friday that would help prevent a government shutdown by denying federal workers a raise for the third year in a row and tripling their contribution to their retirements.
"They want federal employees to be the piggy bank, say to the guys at the CIA who helped track down Osama bin Laden, 'Thank you very much, but we're going to cut your pension and your pay.'" Van Hollen (D-8th District) said. "This is not a balanced approach. Federal employees are prepared to do their share, but they should not be singled out."
Said Cardin (D-Md.): "The federal work force is under attack in Washington."
Van Hollen and Cardin were speakers at the annual Committee for Montgomery breakfast at the Montgomery County Conference Center.
To continue a payroll tax holiday two months, GOP lawmakers are insisting on a controversial oil pipeline from Canada as well as the pay freeze and higher retirement payments.
Montgomery County is home to 45,000 to 50,000 federal workers, at offices for such agencies as the and the .
"The way that the Republicans sent the bill over from the House," Cardin said, "it would have put most of the burden on the backs of our federal work force. That's just plain wrong. That's just wrong."
Cardin said the federal government needs to cut spending, but it also needs to enhance revenue to cut the deficit $4 trillion over 10 years.
Federal employees, Van Hollen said, are prepared to make sacrifices. "But they should not be scapegoats."