GEMS

NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS)

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline – April 5, 2013
 
Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 
“Hopefully, NARFE members met with many members of Congress during the Easter/Passover congressional recess. I’m looking forward to hearing the results of your meetings. Now is also a good time to use upcoming district work weeks, the 2013 federation conventions, the long summer recess and even 2014 federation conventions for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers. More information is provided below.”
 
#1 What Would You Lose Under the Chained CPI?
 
A proposal to reduce the inflation protection provided by statutorily set annual cost-of-living adjustments in the three federally administered retirement programs (Social Security, military retirement and federal civil service), as well as federal disability insurance programs, has received serious consideration and is reported to be included in the Obama administration’s long-delayed budget to be released April 10. The proposal would replace the current index, the CPI-W, with the chained CPI. Compared over the last 20 years, the chained CPI was 0.3 percent lower than the CPI-W each year.
 
Reduced inflation protection would hurt seniors, who are already facing increasing medical costs, which even the current method does not adequately weigh. For all the technical jargon that is thrown around Washington to justify the proposal, in the end, it amounts to a cut in the benefits all workers earned over the course of their careers, and an even bigger cut to those receiving disability benefits, including veterans.
 
Get Mad, Then Take Action. Use NARFE’s online calculator to estimate how the chained CPI proposal would reduce your earned federal annuity. After finding out, follow the link and send a message to your representative and senators, urging them to reject reducing your earned benefits. Find the calculator and link at: http://www.narfe.org/legislation/calculator.cfm.
 
For more information on the chained CPI, we recommend the New York Times editorial denouncing the proposal. Find it at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/opinion/sunday/social-security-present-and-future.html?_r=1&.
 
#2 Gear Up Now for “NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month”
 
While August may seem far off, NARFE members should begin planning now for "NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month." Members of Congress are already preparing their schedules, and the August 2 - September 9 congressional summer recess is a prime opportunity to meet with your senators and representative. Send an invitation now, asking them to speak at a multi-chapter forum or request a meeting in the district office. A step-by-step guide on hosting an elected official at your chapter meeting is included in the "Protect America's Heartbeat" Toolkit, available here. The NARFE legislative staff is eager to help. Contact them at leg@narfe.org for a copy of the Toolkit or help in requesting a meeting or scheduling an event. The Legislative Department staff is available to help you plan your event, contact congressional offices and provide tips. In the coming months, additional resources will be featured in narfe magazine to help members and chapters make "NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month" a success.
 
#3 Wishing for a Crystal Ball of Politics?
 
A comprehensive website run by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, features detailed and frequently updated analyses of congressional and gubernatorial elections across the country. To see what it has to offer, please visit: http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/.
 
Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to requesting NARFE leaders; and sent to over 78,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline – March 8, 2013

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Activists from around the country will carry NARFE’s message to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 12. If you are not attending NARFE’s Legislative Training Conference, you can amplify NARFE’s voice by telephoning your representative and senators on Tuesday, using the step-by-step instructions provided below. The stakes are high. I ask you to do your part in defending your earned benefits.”

#1 FEATURED ACTION: Call Congress on March 12!

On Tuesday, March 12, NARFE leaders from across the country will climb Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials and their staff. Their message is simple: Federal employees and retirees have already contributed more than $100 billion to deficit reduction, and should not be targeted for additional sacrifice. As Congress looks forward, we hope it will work to find solutions that do not force middle-class civil servants and retirees to carry the load.

NARFE members not attending the conference can help us make an even bigger impact during our Advocacy Day. On Tuesday, March 12, use the toll-free number and simple instructions below to help get the NARFE message across.

Step 1: Call the Capitol using NARFE’s toll-free number 1-866-220-0044. Ask the operator to connect you to your representative's office.

Step 2: Politely greet the staff person who answers the phone. Give your name and address so they know you are a constituent. Then say:

I am a retired/active federal employee and member of NARFE.

As Congress continues the debate on federal spending and the budget, please do not single out federal employees and retirees. To date, federal employees already have contributed $103 billion towards deficit reduction, and targeting them and federal retirees for further sacrifice hurts hard-working, middle-class Americans; threatens the government services Americans rely on every day; and hinders our economic recovery.

Thank you for your consideration of my viewpoints.

Step 3: After you make your call, call back and ask the operator to connect you to your senators.

When you’re done, ask your friends, family, neighbors and any active or retired federal employees near you to join you in calling Congress. Every call counts!

#2 House Passes Continuing Resolution

While the threat of a late winter Washington storm closed most of the Executive Branch (and NARFE), on Wednesday, the House passed a $984 billion Continuing Resolution (CR), funding government operations for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. The CR, H.R. 933, included a provision freezing federal pay through the end of calendar year 2013. The vote was 267-151. The bill funds the government at the sequester levels, doing nothing to prevent the widespread furloughs throughout most federal agencies that are set to take effect in April. The Senate is likely to consider small changes to the bill; but, in the hope of preventing a government shutdown, it is unlikely to make any major changes.

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 77,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline – February 22, 2013
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
  #####################

“The March issue of narfe magazine is on its way, and as usual, March is NARFE-PAC Month. The magazine features a cover wrap soliciting contributions to NARFE-PAC, our political action committee. I urge you to make a contribution to your defense fund. To make it as convenient as possible, you will find a postage-paid envelope in the center of the issue. NARFE-PAC is the only NARFE solicitation that directly supports our core mission: legislative and political advocacy to protect the earned benefits of current and retired federal employees.”

#1 Leveraging Advocacy by Following Up After Pay-Freeze Vote

NARFE’s Legislative Action Center allows you to send your representative an email specific to how he/she voted on the bill, H.R. 273, to extend the federal employee pay freeze for another year. Sending this letter now will show your representative that you are watching closely. In particular, taking a moment to thank those who opposed the bill will go far in encouraging similar action in the future. Click here to send our new and targeted message to your representative. The specific URL is:
http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=62418031

#2 Send Letters to the Editor Using Legislative Action Center

Our Legislative Action Center’s “Media Guide” makes it easy to send op-eds and letters to the editor (LTE) to the newspapers you read each day. Below and available on the LAC at http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=62439156 is the text of a sample letter to the editor you can modify and easily send to up to five of your state’s newspapers. In order to make publishing an LTE more likely, it must revolve around a current issue facing your community, which is why, at this time, NARFE is using the growing possibility of sequestration to draw attention to the important work federal employees carry out. Use the text below or visit http://capwiz.com/narfe/dbq/media/ to modify and send the letter.

As a (former) federal employee in STATE, I'm worried about the consequences of sequestration and subsequent furloughs of federal employees in our state. There are thousands (Insert # for your state, if known) of hardworking federal employees in STATE who won't be able to fully do their jobs, such as safely landing commercial airline jets at LOCAL AIRPORT or making sure the meat we buy at our grocery stores is safe. [LTE author can also localize these examples for national parks or food safety inspectors depending on the specialty of the state]

Sacrificing our nation's federal employees, and the services they provide to this country, is not an acceptable solution to our nation's budget dilemma. I hope Senators X and Y, along with their colleagues, can find a solution that does not weaken our federal workforce and the vital services it provides us all before it’s too late.

NAME
ADDRESS
(FORMER) FEDERAL OCCUPATION
NARFE CHAPTER

#3 Consumer Prices Rise in January

On February 21, the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor (www.bls.gov/cpi or 202/691-6994) reported the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The CPI-W for January is 226.520, an increase of 0.3 percent for the month but still slightly below (0.18%) the 2012 third-quarter base index (226.936). February consumer price indices will be released March 15.

#4 Report Meetings With Lawmakers

We encourage you to share information about meetings with your U.S. representative and senators with the NARFE Legislative Department by clicking here. Your grass-roots advocacy is a key reason for NARFE's effectiveness on Capitol Hill, and chapter leaders should be working to form relationships with their legislators, especially freshman lawmakers. Sharing your grass-roots efforts will only make NARFE more effective in its lobbying efforts. The direct link to report activity is: http://www.capwiz.com/narfe/lrm/feedback.tt

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 76,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 
 

NARFE Legislative Hotline – February 15, 2013

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Both the House and Senate are in recess until February 25. I urge you to use these district work periods to find your senators and representative at their offices, at town hall meetings or via the growing practice of telephone conference calls. Visit their websites and provide your contact information. NARFE’s distinguishing feature over many years has been the ability to meet face-to-face with members of Congress. Now is the time; your state/district is the place. Missing this opportunity will leave the welfare of current and retired federal employees at greater risk.”

#1 Tell Congress: No Further Federal Pay Freeze

In spite of NARFE and Federal-PostalCoalition efforts, the House passed legislation, HR. 273, to extend the federal pay freeze for the balance of the calendar year. The vote was 261-154 (19 representatives did not vote). The tally of the vote is posted on our Legislative Action Center. The gateway to NARFE selected votes is http://capwiz.com/narfe/keyvotes.xc/?lvl Roll call votes are also available on the Clerk of the House’s website at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll044.xml.

Despite this disappointing news, NARFE was pleased to see that, in part thanks to our grass-roots efforts, 26 representatives who voted for a similar bill on January 1, voted against the bill this time around. NARFE will use this vote when we compile our voting scorecard for the 113th Congress.

#2 Senate Hearing on the Future of the Postal Service

On Wednesday, February 13, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing regarding various postal reform proposals. Troubling statements were made suggesting that the Postal Service could save costs by separating postal employees and retirees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), replacing their health insurance with separate plans. The Postmaster General also proposed essentially eliminating the FERS annuity benefit for postal employees. NARFE strongly opposes these proposals and is submitting official testimony in response for both the record and committee members.

#3 NARFE Legislative Conference Registration Still Available!

There is still time to register for the NARFE Legislative Conference! Only a few spots remain, so if you have not completed your registration yet, please do so today.  The 2013 Legislative Training Conference will be held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA, from March 9-12.

The conference is held biennially with the goals of promoting advocacy and grass-roots development; educating members on NARFE’s legislative agenda; providing expertise and guidance on the political process; and obtaining feedback from officers, leaders and activists. New this year, the conference will include training on social media and the Internet as well as the opportunity to practice your Capitol Hill visit.

The $175 registration fee includes three buffet breakfasts, two full lunches, one buffet dinner, all materials, and transportation to and from Capitol Hill on March 12. The conference is open to all members, and online registration and a fillable registration form are available on our website at: www.narfe.org/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=2936. Hotel reservations must be made separately by calling the hotel at 800-228-9290 or 703-413-1300. While we cannot guarantee the special NARFE rate because we are past the deadline, be sure to mention the NARFE Legislative Training Conference when you call.

#4 Representatives and Senators on Recess During Week Of February 18

To find your senators’ websites, use the Senate’s website, www.senate.gov. To find your representative by name or ZIP code, use the House website, www.house.gov. The “Protect America’s Heartbeat” Toolkit has been updated and is a great resource for preparing for meetings with members of Congress and their staff. You can access the toolkit at: http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/toolkit.cfm.

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 76,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline – February 8, 2013

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Federal employees, facing the increasing prospect of furloughs, are again the target of sacrifice for some members of Congress, who are now seeking to impose a third year of frozen pay. Stakes have been raised for postal employees, too. The U.S. Postal Service announced plans to end most Saturday deliveries. I urge active and retired federal employees to stand with these current and future NARFE members. Whether you have recently sent our past messages, or especially if you never have, I plead with you to use the link below to send our just-revised Action Alert message to your congressional delegation. Concerted action could change the outcome of the upcoming House vote to extend the federal pay freeze.





#1 Tell Congress: No Further Federal Pay Freeze

NARFE’s Action Alert message is ready to be used.CLICK HERE (or use the URL below) to be heard in the halls of Congress. Silence will only signify approval of their actions. http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=62391501
 

#2 Postal Service Would End Most Saturday Deliveries

When the Postal Service released its plan to end Saturday delivery, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin issued a statement, emphasizing that “the decision by the U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday delivery would undoubtedly affect the livelihoods of our postal employees, whose important work on every street in the nation helps support a tradition as old as America itself. In addition, this decision disproportionally hurts our nation’s small businesses, elderly and those who live in rural communities who depend on the Postal Service.” The entire statement is posted on our website, available here: http://www.narfe.org/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=3199
 

#3 Representatives and Senators on Recess During Week Of February 18

Both chambers of Congress will be visiting their constituents during the week of February 18, making this an ideal time to seek out your legislators and attend their public meetings. Meetings with district and state office staff could be the beginning a productive relationship with members of Congress.
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 76,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline – February 1, 2013

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“NARFE’s premier legislative training conference affords current and aspiring NARFE officers and activists a great opportunity to sharpen their legislative and political skills. Repeat attendance can build the confidence needed to be able to train others. Learning goes both ways, with ample time available for discussion of best practices, and for ‘Q and A’ between members and presenters. I urge you, especially if you have never attended, to register now for NARFE’s 2013 Legislative Training Conference. Full registration information appears below and on the NARFE website.”

2013 Legislative Training Conference

With less than one week left to register, we expect another sellout (300 attendees) of the NARFE Legislative Training Conference. Registration for the March 9-12 conference must be sent by February 5. Federations are strongly urged to use 10 Percent Funds to defray some of the cost to send aspiring legislative leaders. The 2013 Legislative Training Conference will be held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA (800-228-9290 or 703-413-1300). Hotel reservations must be made separately by February 5 to guarantee the NARFE-negotiated rate. Be sure to mention the NARFE Legislative Training Conference when you call.

The conference is held biennially with the goals of promoting advocacy and grass-roots development, educating members on NARFE’s legislative agenda, providing expertise and guidance on the political process, and obtaining feedback and guidance from officers, leaders and activists.  New this year, the conference will include training on social media and the Internet as well as the opportunity to practice your Capitol Hill visit.

The $175 registration fee includes three buffet breakfasts, two full lunches, one buffet dinner, all materials, and transportation to and from Capitol Hill on March 12. The conference is open to all members, and the registration form appears in the February issue of narfe magazine, pp. 8-9. Online registration and a fillable registration form are available on our website at: http://www.narfe.org/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=2936. Register today!

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 76,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline – January 25, 2013

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Your representative will not be on Capitol Hill again until the evening of February 4 because the House of Representatives is holding a ‘constituent work week’ to meet with their constituents, many for the first time due to redistricting. I cannot overstate how important it is for you to seek out your representative. Use the House website, http://www.house.gov, to link to your representative’s website. There, you can subscribe to a newsletter, view an interactive map, find out about Town Hall meetings, ask for a meeting or request your representative address a special meeting of the NARFE members in the district. Face-to-face meetings are best held in the district.”

#1 NARFE Continues “Protect America’s Heartbeat” Campaign
 

When Congress delayed sequestration, it created a perfect storm of deadlines, culminating in March, that will continue to keep the federal community as a target for deficit reduction. With that in mind, NARFE is re-launching our “Protect America’s Heartbeat” campaign, with a renewed focus on legislators who will be in the negotiations. NARFE members across the country will be asked to make contacting their legislators a priority as negotiations on sequestration, the budget and the debt limit continue. NARFE members can contact their members of Congress by mailing a hand- written letter, using NARFE’s Legislative Action Center to send an e-mail or joining hundreds of NARFE members during an upcoming national call-in day.
 

More information will be available in your narfe magazine, online at http://www.protectamericasheartbeat.com, and through upcoming Hotlines. To report any grass-roots activity your chapter or federation undertakes, or if you have any questions about the campaign, please email NARFE at advocacyinaction@narfe.org.
 
 

#2Pay Freeze Extension Likely To Be Considered in the Coming Weeks

As we reported last week in the Hotline, the House was set to vote this week on a bill, H.R. 273, that would extend the pay freeze on federal salaries for another year. While we were pleased to learn that the bill was pulled from consideration, it is becoming increasingly likely that the House will take up this bill when it returns from recess the week of February 4.
 

NARFE members must continue to tell Congress, “Enough is enough!” The House of Representatives is again using federal employees as scapegoats under the guise of deficit reduction, despite the fact that current and retired federal employees have been repeatedly singled out for sacrifice.
 

An action letter opposing this specific piece of legislation has been drafted for your use. Please visit http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/?style=D if you have not sent this letter yet. Federal employees are counting on you!
 
 

#3Action Taken To Raise the Debt Limit

The cap on the U.S. borrowing limit was reached around New Year’s Day. Following that event, the Treasury has access to certain extraordinary means to manage money in order to keep agencies open – including “borrowing” from the balances in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. These extraordinary measures are expected to run out in mid-February. Accordingly, the House passed legislation (H.R. 325) on January 23 to suspend the debt ceiling until May 19. The legislation also contains a provision prohibiting lawmakers from getting paid if Congress fails to pass a budget by April 15. Salaries would be held in escrow until lawmakers agreed on a fiscal year 2014 budget; if they fail to do so, salaries would start again in January 2015, the end of the 113th Congress. The Senate is expected to vote and pass the legislation, and the White House had indicated support.

#4 Reminder! The Hotline Is Always Posted on www.NARFE.org

With feedback from last week’s experiment, this edition of the Legislative Hotline is again being sent as a “rich text format” to allow all users access, hopefully without the coding language some of you experienced. The web address where NARFE members can access this message is: http://www.narfe.org/legislation/. Since the Hotline is among one of NARFE’s premier member benefits, you must log in as a member to view it online. Please report if sending the Hotline without an attachment causes you any problem by emailing leg@narfe.org. Thank you!
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline:Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 75,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.
***

NARFE Legislative Hotline – January 18, 2013

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“The House of Representatives is scheduling a vote during the week of January 21 to extend the federal pay freeze for a third year. Enough is enough. Amid general consensus that there must be shared sacrifice, federal employees have already contributed $103 billion for deficit reduction. All NARFE members must oppose further targeting of our community.”









#1 27 Months of Frozen Pay Isn’t Enough for Legislators

Next week, the House will vote on a bill, H.R. 273, to extend the federal employee pay freeze for the remainder of 2013. Yet again, the House of Representatives is using federal employees as scapegoats under the guise of deficit reduction. Current and retired federal employees have been repeatedly singled out for sacrifice. We are asking you to tell Congress, enough is enough!

A new action letter opposing this specific piece of legislation has been drafted for your use. Click here or visit  http://capwiz.com/narfe/home/ to send this message to your representative today. Federal employees are counting on you!
 
 

#2 FECA COLA To Be 1.7 Percent

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.7 percent over the last 12 months which is the measurement period for person covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act. FECA covers persons who left federal service due to on-the-job injuries or illness. The December 2012 index, 225.889, is, however, a decrease of 0.3 percent from November’s index (226.595).
#3 Civil Service Fund Prevents Default (Again)

Federal employees and retirees are understandably concerned that the U.S. Treasury is forced to use their retirement funds to prevent a government default.  NARFE shares this concern – Congress should not rely on these funds as a safety net because they have failed to reach agreement on how to pay our nation’s bills.

Nonetheless, NARFE does not believe that the temporary use of the retirement funds poses a threat to the government’s obligation to pay federal retirees the annuities they have earned. Federal law requires that the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Government Securities (G) Fund and the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) be reinvested and made whole for any interest lost once a debt limit increase becomes law and the period of debt suspension ends. For more background, visit http://www.narfe.org/departments/home/print.cfm?ID=2480.
 

#4 House Website Links Users to New District Maps

The House of Representatives is making it easier for you to find your representatives and view an interactive map of your district. These maps have been updated to reflect any redistricting that took place last year. Please visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/ to utilize this updated tool.

#5 Hotline’s New Format

You may have noticed that the attached Hotline is now in a PDF instead of a Word document. If this new format is causing you problems, or you are unable to open it, please let us know at leg@narfe.org. Thank you!

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 75,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.
***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - January 11, 2013
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 
 

“I salute and thank NARFE members, current and past, who have now donated $10 million directly to Alzheimer's research. We bragged about your achievement in a recent press release, which included the following praise from Alzheimer's Association President and CEO Harry Johns: 'For more than 25 years, NARFE has demonstrated steadfast commitment to the mission of the Alzheimer's Association. We appreciate their unwavering dedication to the Alzheimer's Association research program and our efforts to end this disease.'” The release is among the seven items at the top of the Legislative Department home page. http://www.narfe.org/pressroom/articles.cfm?ID=3118)
 
 

#1 New Congress Needs to Hear from NARFE
 
 

The 113th Congress returns to Capitol Hill on January 14 after a week representing their new districts. The first question lawmakers ask their staff is, “What are the constituents saying?” NARFE's Legislative Action Center allows you to be part of the answer. NARFE President Joseph Beaudoin urges each NARFE member to send our recently revised message to your senators and representative. Click here to send this message or use: http://narfe.capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=62314456. We only get one chance to make a good first impression with the large class of freshmen members, including 14 senators and 85 representatives. Like everyone in Congress, they MUST hear from current and retired federal employees or they will continue heaping disproportionate sacrifices on us.
 
 

#2 Report meetings with lawmakers
 
 

Share information about meetings with your U.S. representative and senators with the NARFE Legislative Department by clicking HERE. Your grass-roots advocacy is the key reason for NARFE's effectiveness on Capitol Hill. Use http://www.capwiz.com/narfe/lrm/feedback.tt to reach the Advocacy Activity Form.
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 75,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - January 4, 2013
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 #####################
 
 

“Happy New Year! For the time being, the fiscal cliff has not been averted, just postponed. Across-the-board cuts to both defense and nondefense programs, enacted as part of the 2011 debt ceiling debate, were largely put off until March 1. However, averting sequestration will be front and center when the newly installed 113th Congress next returns to Washington on January 14. Two other deadlines complicate the policy scene: 1) the debt ceiling; and 2) the March 27 expiration of the continuing resolution funding all federal programs. To respond to these circumstances, we have posted a brand-new alert in our Legislative Action Center. I urge you to send our new message to your 113th Congress representative and both senators.”
 
 

#1 Crisis managed, sequestration looms large; feds certain target
 
 

On New Year's Day, the Senate, by a vote of 89-8 (Record Vote Number: 251), and on January 2, the House, by a vote of 257-167 (Roll no. 659), largely settled the tax rate side of the “fiscal cliff,” but merely postponed the lion's share of the sequester spending by two months. Also included in the new law were provisions dealing with Medicare reimbursement rates (the “doc fix”), unemployment benefits, deductibility for state and local general sales taxes and portions of the farm bill (milk prices). For a more detailed, six-page summary, please click on the Senate link above, and once redirected, click on the “H.R. 8” hyperlink towards the top of the page, and follow the link to the “CRS Summary.” NARFE actions during December, when over 7,000 activists lobbied the president and Congress in opposition to changing the formula for the cost-of-living adjustment, certainly played a role in ensuring this was left out of the fiscal deal.
 
 

#2 Shared sacrifice, not repeated scapegoating of federal employees
 
 

During December, over 7,000 NARFE activists lobbied the president and Congress in opposition to changing the formula for the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. On January 3, the new 113th Congress was sworn in, and another large class of first-term members needs to hear from current and future federal retirees. NARFE President Joseph Beaudoin asks each NARFE member to send our brand-new message to your representative and senators. Click here to send this message or use: http://narfe.capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=62314456
 
 

#3 Legislative Training Conference March 9-12, register now
 
 

Amid these historically high legislative stakes, NARFE will hold its 2013 NARFE Legislative Training Conference Saturday, March 9, through Tuesday, March 12, at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. Federations should use 10 percent funds to assist new and rising legislative leaders with travel to Arlington, Virginia, in order to participate in training sessions, briefings and presentations by nationally renowned speakers. Forms for registration are posted on the NARFE website at: http://www.narfe.org/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=2936. Additionally, you will find more information in the February issue of narfe magazine (pages 8-9). Act now! This biennial event has routinely “sold out!”
 
 

#4 District work week, find and meet legislators
 
 

Like the previous Congress, the new 113th will divide its time between short weeks in Washington and full weeks in their states and districts. Face-to-face meetings with a member of Congress are at the top of the advocacy food chain. NARFE has always distinguished itself by the ability of chapter, district and federation leaders to organize meetings between NARFE activists and members of Congress and/or their staff. One of the best websites for finding state delegations, phone and webform addresses is produced by Congressmerge.com. There, you will find concise, up-to-date listings, including Google maps to congressional district offices. The link for the House schedule in two formats is: http://www.majorityleader.gov/Calendar/. The link for the Senate schedule is: http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/one_item_and_teasers/2013_schedule.htm.
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 75,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline – December 28, 2012
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 #####################

 As members of Congress return to Washington to continue negotiations on averting the fiscal cliff, I encourage all NARFE members to remain vigilant and continue to contact their representatives. Legislative proposals that would have a negative impact on federal employees and retirees, such as the chained CPI and increased retirement contributions, are still on the table. We at NARFE wish you a happy and healthy new year.
 
 

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Congress Returns to Washington
 
 

President Obama shortened his vacation, members of the Senate returned to the Capitol yesterday, and the House is set to convene on Sunday, all in the hopes of avoiding sending our country over the fiscal cliff. It is unclear at this point if our leaders will be able to negotiate an agreement by the January 2 deadline. What is clear, though, is that numerous proposals negatively impacting the federal workforce and federal annuitants remain part of the discussion – a switch to the chained CPI method of determining annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), an increase in retirement contributions and an extension of the pay freeze. It continues to be of vital importance that NARFE members contact their members of Congress during this time. Use the action letters available at www.capwiz.com/narfe to send a message today!
 
 

Treasury Nears Borrowing Limit, Complicates Cliff Negotiations
 
 

The U.S. Treasury Department announced this week that it will hit its borrowing limit, or debt limit, on Monday. As a result, raising the debt limit, which until a few years was commonplace on Capitol Hill, will likely be part of any fiscal cliff negotiations. Absent of an agreement to raise the debt limit, the Treasury Department will have to resort to a series of "extraordinary measures," as it has in the past. To avoid default, the law allows the United States to redeem existing Treasury securities held by the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF). Federal retirees should not be alarmed, however. The law also includes a “make-whole” provision that restores the securities and investment returns to the CSRDF once the suspension period ends.
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 74,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.
***

NARFE Legislative Hotline – December 21, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 
 

“On behalf of all of us at NARFE, I wish you and your family a very happyand healthy holiday season.”
 
 

Height of Fiscal Cliff Nears, House Votes to Increase Feds’ Retirement Contributions
 
 

Members of Congress are returning home for Christmas without an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, a term used to describe the substantial tax increases and spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect in January. President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-OH, had been negotiating for a different mix of tax increases and spending cuts, but talks stalled this week.
 
 

Speaker Boehner scheduled votes Thursday on a pair of bills known as “Plan B.” H.R. 6684, a bill that substitutes various spending reductions for the “sequestration” cuts to discretionary spending scheduled for January, and H.J. Res. 66, a bill that would extend most of the Bush-era tax cuts, but not all of them, for households making less than million dollars in a year.
 
 

H.R. 6684 included a 5 percent increase in federal employees’ contributions for retirement, taxing civil servants to the tune of another $83 billion over 10 years. NARFE President Beaudoin urged opposition to the bill. Unfortunately, the bill passed narrowly, with 215 votes in favor to 209 against.
 
 

H.J. Res. 66, the second half of Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal to avert the fiscal cliff, failed to win enough support in the GOP Conference last night, leading Boehner to cancel the vote at the last minute and send his members home.
 
 

Chained CPI Still on the Table
 
 

As negotiations continue on ways to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, one idea gaining traction is a new method of calculating the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for federal retirement benefits, including Social Security and military and federal civilian retirement. The new method, called the “chained CPI,” would ultimately lead to smaller COLAs, estimated to be as much as .3 percent smaller each year. NARFE opposes the change based on our belief that both the current formula and the chained CPI fail to accurately account for seniors’ biggest expense – medical care.
 
 

Please take a moment to join the thousands of NARFE members who have sent letters to Congress and the president urging them to oppose a switch to the chained CPI. The letter is available at http://www.capwiz.com/narfe and http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/.
 
 

Hatch Act Reform Reaches President’s Desk
 
 

Senator Daniel K. Akaka, D-HI, a strong supporter of federal employees and retirees, added one more legislative success before retirement. This week, the House passed his legislation, S. 2170, reforming the Hatch Act, the law governing federal employees’ political activities. The commonsense legislation, now headed to the president’s desk, eliminates the prohibition against state and local employees seeking partisan elective federal office, and revises the penalties for violating the Hatch Act.
 
 

Defense Authorization Shrinks DOD, Provides Military Pay Raise
 
 

Yesterday, the House passed the conference report of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), providing military members with a 1.7 percent pay raise in January. Drawing the ire of some senators and federal employee unions, the bill also directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to reduce its civilian workforce by 5 percent, or roughly 36,000 employees, through fiscal year 2017. Without providing specifics, the bill directs DOD to ensure that the civilian and contractor workforces are appropriately sized with the military to carry out its mission and to find the most appropriate and cost-efficient mix of military, civilian and contractor personnel. It is unclear when the Senate will vote on the bill, but the provisions will remain unchanged.

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 74,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.
the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838 7760.

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - December 14, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 
 

“In the ongoing debate over the fiscal cliff, one item gaining traction in the negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, and President Obama would change the statutory formula for calculating the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for federally administered retirement programs, including Social Security, military retirement and civil service retirement. The method being debated would lower COLAs incrementally over time, and therefore I urge each NARFE member to tell leaders at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue that basing COLAs on the 'chained CPI' means less income for those already on a fixed income.”
 
 

#1 Tell President Obama and Speaker Boehner Not to Change the COLA Formula
 
 

NARFE's Legislative Action Center was updated yesterday. This new alert must reach decision-makers to emphasize NARFE's opposition to changing the cost-of-living formula. In less than 24 hours, more than 3,500 NARFE activists delivered NARFE's message to their members of Congress and the White House. President Beaudoin urges you to join them in defense of current and future federal retirees. To send the updated message to President Obama and your congressional delegation, click here or type http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=62245936 into your browser.
 
 

#2 Morale Decline in Federal Workforce Documented by Employee Survey
 
 

Each year, the Partnership for Public Services releases its “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings, based on the results of the Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted by the Office of Personnel Management. Unsurprisingly, in the midst of attacks from public officials and various media outlets, morale among federal employees is at its lowest level in nearly a decade. The Washington Post article on the rankings provides further details on the results:

For further coverage in the Post use http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/best-and-worst-places-to-work-in-federal-government/2012/12/12/3cacb7d8-4472-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html
 
 

#3 Washington Think Tank Offers Fiscal Cliff Toolkit
 
 

The Urban Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank, provides policy analysis and reports on social and economic issues. This week, the Urban Institute unveiled a new interactive toolkit, which answers questions such as: How does the fiscal cliff affect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? What changes to these programs are proposed and whom would they affect? What are the consequences of paring down tax deductions and of the mandatory spending cuts that are part of the cliff? Answers to these questions, data, analyses and commentaries illuminating the fiscal cliff debate are now in one easy-to-access place: http://www.urban.org/fiscal-cliff. You can also calculate how much your taxes go up in various scenarios at
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxcalculator/index.cfm
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 74,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - December 7, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 
 

“Serious negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, and President Obama, and their staff, are taking place to avoid a financial catastrophe. As these two leaders, as well as leaders in Congress from both parties, try to hammer out a deal on the multitude of issues facing our country, NARFE members must act. Waiting until a tentative deal has been made public will be too late. With the stakes so high, NARFE members must speak out now to protect the benefits earned during career service. I urge each of you to join the NARFE activists who have sent the 'Enough is Enough' message to their congressional delegations.”
 
 

#######
 
 

#1 Enough Is Enough! Contact Congress Today
 
 

NARFE's Legislative Action Center, revised November 30, tells Congress “Enough is Enough.” This updated message urges members of Congress to avoid targeting federal employees, retirees and, by extension, their families, for additional sacrifice as they craft ways to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff. President Beaudoin encourages all NARFE members to send the text after making it fit your status as an employee or retiree. Click here to link to, revise and send the updated message, or use: http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=62173291.
 
 

#######
 
 

#2 Postal Reform Regains Steam, NARFE Looks to Protect Injured Workers
 
 

As Congress whittles away at the remaining days of the 112th Congress, tackling legislation reforming the U.S. Postal Service is once again on the minds of lawmakers. Although the Senate passed its version of reform legislation in April (S. 1789), the House has yet to address it or its own version. NARFE strongly objects to provisions in the Senate bill that would have a negative impact on both federal and postal employees covered under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), the government's injured worker compensation program. According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, federal workers disabled as a result of an on-the-job injury would receive up to 35 percent less in retirement income than if they were not injured, among other damaging effects, if the provisions in the Senate bill are signed into law. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives urging their opposition to any postal reform legislation containing these damaging changes to the FECA program. The letter is available on the homepage of NARFE's website: www.narfe.org.
 
 

#######
 
 

#3 Fiscal Cliff Negotiations. Constantly Changing Intel Has Washington on Its Toes
 
 

The following is adapted from CQ Roll Call. The adage in Washington is that if nobody is talking about what they're really talking about, that's a good sign for getting a deal. In what may be just such a positive sign, President Barack Obama, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and their aides on Thursday seemed to be zipping their lips on the behind-the-scenes fiscal cliff talks after a private Wednesday phone call between the two men. Of course, both sides also continued their public relations fight over debt and taxes.
 
 

Talks are expected to continue until close to Christmas.
 
 

#######
 
 

#4 Monday, December 10, is the Last Day of Open Season for Federal Benefits
 
 

Monday, December 10, is the final day of Open Season for federal benefits including health, dental and vision insurance. This is the time set aside each year for federal employees and retirees to make changes to their health insurance coverage. To obtain information or make changes to your coverage, visit the Office of Personnel Management's website, http://www.opm.gov/insure/openseason/index.asp, or call, 1-800-332-9798.
 
 

#######

















#5 Free e-Daily from Congressional Quarterly Roll Call
 

CQ Roll Call brings the latest news from around Washington to your inbox each day at midday. Hundreds in Washington pay thousands for in-depth reporting from CQ Roll Call. One of their best, David Hawkings, provides a free summary with his distinctive analysis. To see a sample or subscribe use: http://corporate.cqrollcall.com/content/11/en/Register%20for%20Daily%20Briefing.html
 
 

#######

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 73,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***
 

NARFE Legislative Hotline - November 16, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 #####################

“I want to thank the NARFE members who placed calls to their representatives and senators this week, and encourage every NARFE member to do the same. In the last few days, our toll-free number, 866-220-0044, has carried thousands of calls to Congress. By using the call instructions below, you will help current and future federal retirees from being singled out for disproportionate sacrifice in the name of deficit reduction. Your calls will be counted as part of our Advocacy in Action competition.”
 
 

#######


















#1 Calls to Congress Should Continue

While briefly in Washington this week, congressional leaders met with the president to negotiate a path away from the fiscal cliff of higher taxes from expiring tax provisions and across-the-board spending cuts if sequestration is not prevented. Please add your voice by calling Congress to tell them to avoid singling out federal employees and retirees for further sacrifice! Here are the steps.
 
 

Step 1: Call the Capitol using NARFE's toll-free number, 866-220-0044.  Ask the operator to connect you to your representative's or senator's office.
 
 

Step 2: Greet the staff person who answers the phone. Give your name and address so they know you are a constituent. Then say:

I am a retired/active federal employee and member of NARFE. In my job/Before I retired, I… [Tell the staff person a little about your work.]

[Senator or Representative X] represents thousands of federal workers and retirees. As Congress debates deficit reduction, I urge you to adhere to the principles of shared sacrifice and avoid targeting federal employees and retirees as a means to stop our country from falling off the fiscal cliff.

Federal workers have already done their part, saving the federal government over $75 billion through the ongoing pay freeze and increased contributions to retirement. Making extreme cuts to pay and health and retirement benefits, or changing cost-of-living adjustment calculations, unfairly singles out those who protect our nation.

Thank you for your consideration of my viewpoints.
 
 

#######




















#2 October Consumer Prices Show Little Change

On Thursday, November 16, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/cpi or 202/691-6994) reported that the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, the CPI-W, for October (227.974) declined 0.1 percent from the September index (228.184). However, the October index is 0.45 percent higher than the 2012 third-quarter average base index (226.936). The November consumer price news will be released on December 14.
 
 

#######


















# 3 Medicare Announces 2013 Premiums

Today, Medicare made its long-awaited announcement of premiums for 2013.  The basic Medicare Part B premium will be $104.90 per month - an increase of $5. Those with adjusted incomes above $85,000 for single filers and $170,000 for joint filers will see an increase between $42 and $230.80 per month in 2013. The deductible will increase from $140 to $147 in 2013 for Part B. For those few affected, the 2013 Part A premium is decreasing to $441, down from $451 in 2012, and there will be an increase in the Part A deductible to $1,184 in 2013, up from $1156 this year (an increase of 2.4 percent). To view the announcement in its entirety, go to: http://blog.medicare.gov/2012/11/16/2013-medicare-update/.
 
 

#######


















# 4 NARFE Office Closed on Thanksgiving and November 23

The next Hotline will be issued during the week of November 26, and will provide an update on the progress we hope to have on phone calls and emails to Congress using our Protect America's Heartbeat message. Click here to view, modify and send the message, or visit: http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/.
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - November 9, 2012
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“We have planned our work for NARFE's National Call Congress Day, Thursday, November 15. Now it's your turn to make the call! Please read, share and execute the step-by-step instructions provided in my letter below. Your calls made using our toll-free number will be counted as part of our Advocacy in Action competition.”
 
 

#####################
 
 

Thursday, November 15, is NARFE National Call Congress Day!



















Dear NARFE member,

Now that the elections are over, Congress is set to return to Washington next week to tackle a laundry list of priorities including the looming cuts to federal programs via sequestration. As members of Congress debate ways to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff, it is imperative they do not target federal employees and retirees for disproportionate sacrifice. On Thursday, NARFE members are calling Congress to tell them to avoid singling out federal employees and retirees for further sacrifice.

It is unclear at this point how much work will get done before Congress adjourns for the year, which is why it is important to call your members of Congress while they're in session. Members of Congress and their staff will be using this time to look for cost savings across all aspects of government spending, including the pay and benefits of federal employees and retirees.

Will you join thousands of NARFE members and call your members of Congress on Thursday? It's easy and only takes a few minutes. Use the toll-free number and follow these simple instructions:

Step 1: Call the Capitol using NARFE's toll-free number 1-866-220-0044. Ask the operator to connect you to your representative's or senator's office.
 

Step 2: Greet the staff person who answers the phone. Give your name and address so they know you are a constituent.

Then say:
I am a retired/active federal employee and member of NARFE. In my job/Before I retired, I… [Tell the staff person a little about your work.]

[Senator or Representative X] represents thousands of federal workers and retirees. As Congress debates deficit reduction, I urge you to adhere to the principles of shared sacrifice and avoid targeting federal employees and retirees as a means to stop our country from falling off the fiscal cliff.

Federal workers have already done their part, saving the federal government over $75 billion through the ongoing pay freeze and increased contributions to retirement. Making extreme cuts to pay and health and retirement benefits, or changing cost-of-living adjustment calculations, unfairly singles out those who protect our nation.

Thank you for your consideration of my viewpoints.

Please ask your friends, family, neighbors and fellow federal employees and retirees to join you in calling Congress. This is likely your last chance to have an impact before Congress concludes business for the rest of the year.
 
 

Sincerely,

Joseph A. Beaudoin

President

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE)

P.S. If the toll-free number is busy, please dial the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your member of Congress. You can also find the direct number for your representative and senators on their websites using www.house.gov or www.senate.gov. If you are still unable to get through, use the script above to send an email directly to your members of Congress.
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - November 2, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 #####################
“The recent collision of storms in the mid-Atlantic states closed the NARFE office for two days and is certain to complicate voting in coastal areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. This prompts me to repeat my request that NARFE members not only exercise their right to vote, but also help fellow NARFE members cast their ballot.”
 
 

#######




















#1 Poll Hours and Early Voting Changes

Due to Hurricane Sandy, several states and many counties have had to alter early voting days and hours. The best state voting information is provided by the National Association of Secretaries of State. A resource on the site www.nass.org asks, “Are You Election Ready?” This site provides a comprehensive listing of polling hours and links to each state's election site. (The direct link for polling place hours is:

http://www.nass.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=330:voter-registration-deadlines-
and-polling-place-hours-for-the-2010-general-election&catid=33:elections-a-voting&Itemid=391).
 
 

#######




















#2 NBC News' Election Briefing Book

If you were looking for a 148-page guide to this election, you're in luck! NBC News Political Unit has released its “Guide to the 2012 Election.” To access this information, please visit:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/02/14882052-2012-election-book-from-nbc-news?lite.
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - October 26, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 #####################

“Voting is the quintessential act of representative government. I encourage each NARFE member to exercise this right and help fellow members get to the polls or vote absentee. Early voting is in progress in many states giving NARFE members the opportunity to offer transport to fellow members. Photographs of this service to members will be considered for the NARFE website and magazine.”
 
 

#######





















#1 Brewing Storm May Hit NARFE Office and Members

The major confluence of storms in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast may bring hardship to NARFE members and closure of the NARFE office. Through our participation with FEEA, the Federal Employee Education & Assistance fund, NARFE members who suffer catastrophic damage may be eligible for a FEEA grant. For more information visit FEEA.org. The specific website, is http://www.feea.org/programs/emergency-assistance/natural-disaster-grants.
 
 

#######





















#2 'Join Activists, Send Shared Sacrifice Message

Nearly 5,000 NARFE members have sent our current “shared sacrifice” message since its launch on October 5. This alert urges members of Congress not to use federal employees and retirees as a means of avoiding falling off the “fiscal cliff.” We encourage you to send the text, and to modify it to make a stronger impact on the Hill. Send the message to your senators and representative today. Click here to view and send the message, or visit the “Protect America's Heartbeat” page at: www.narfe.org/heartbeat.
 
 

#######





















#3 National Call Congress Day

Thursday, November 15, will be NARFE's National Call Congress Day. Beginning November 13, the post-election session of Congress will meet in the face of the “fiscal cliff,” and could take up much-delayed issues, including the postal overhaul, expiring tax provisions, Medicare reimbursements to providers, and sequestration (across-the-board cuts to Pentagon and nondefense budgets).

More information, including a detailed script, will be provided via email through the Legislative Hotline and GEMS. The Hotline is also available on a toll-free number, 877-217-8234. The toll- free number for the Capitol switchboard is 866-220-0044.
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - October 19, 2012

 #####################

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 

“I am once again urging you to join the many NARFE activists who have sent our recently updated action letter to their congressional delegation. Congressional staff, spared from the campaign, are certain to count our messages and relay that number to their bosses campaigning for your vote. Act now to 'Protect America's Heartbeat'! Your email now and phone traffic on November 15 will count in our continuing Advocacy in Action competition.”
 
 

#######






















#1 'Fiscal Cliff' Demands Shared Sacrifice, Feds Hit Repeatedly

NARFE's Legislative Action Center has been updated with a new alert urging members of Congress not to use federal employees and retirees as a means of avoiding falling off the “fiscal cliff.” We encourage you to send the text, and to modify it to make a stronger impact on the Hill. Send the message to your senators and representative today. Click here to view and send the message, or visit the “Protect America's Heartbeat” page at: www.narfe.org/heartbeat.
 
 

#######






















#2 National Call Congress Day

Mark your calendar! Thursday, November 15, will be NARFE's National Call Congress Day. The post-election session of Congress will meet in the face of the “fiscal cliff,” and could take up much-delayed issues, including the postal overhaul, expiring tax provisions, Medicare reimbursements to providers, and sequestration (across-the-board cuts to Pentagon and nondefense budgets).
 

More information, including a detailed script, will be provided via email through the Legislative Hotline and GEMS. The Hotline is also available on a toll-free number, 877-217-8234. The toll- free number for the Capitol switchboard is 866-220-0044.
 
 

#######






















#3 Cost-of-Living Adjustment Will Be 1.7 Percent

The 2013 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for millions of retired and disabled Americans will be 1.7 percent. Social Security beneficiaries, most civil service annuitants and military retirees will be among those receiving the adjustment in their January 2013 benefit payments. While the 1.7 percent adjustment is designed to maintain retirees' purchasing power, it will serve as a tempting target to some lawmakers during the upcoming lame-duck session, and next year as they try to cut federal spending.

On October 16, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/cpi or 202-691-6994) announced that the September 2012 Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is 228.184. This index reflects an increase of 0.5 percent from the August index of 227.056.  Since 1984, the annual federal retirement COLA has been based on the percentage difference between the third-quarter average index readings in two consecutive years.  The 2013 COLA of 1.7 percent reflects the percentage difference between last year's third-quarter average base index of 223.233 and this year's third-quarter average index of 226.936, computed by averaging July's 225.568, August's 227.056 and September's 228.184 index readings.

Recently retired federal employees will receive a smaller inflation adjustment, as their first COLA is prorated to cover only the months of the year during which they were retired.  The COLA - an annuity adjustment, not a pay raise - will be effective December 1, 2012, and reflected in January 2013 retirement payments. Last year's CSRS and Social Security COLA was 3.6 percent (the FERS COLA was 2.6 percent).  The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release October consumer price indices on Thursday, November 15.
 

Federal workers disabled by a work-related injury or illness and therefore receiving benefits under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), receive COLAs based on the calendar year change in the CPI-W. As of September, the index of 228.184 is 2.7 percent higher than the December 2011 index of 222.166.  The December 2012 inflation data needed to determine next year's FECA adjustment will be reported on Friday, January 18, 2013.
 
 

#######
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - October 12, 2012

 #####################

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“I encourage you to take advantage of the relative calm on Capitol Hill to send the most recent NARFE action letter to your congressional delegation. Please use the updated letter in the NARFE Legislative Action Center and on the Protect America's Heartbeat website. Both the email and phone traffic now and during the lame-duck session will count in our continuing Advocacy in Action competition.”
 
 

#######























#1 'Fiscal Cliff' Demands Shared Sacrifice, Feds Hit Repeatedly

NARFE's Legislative Action Center has been updated with a new alert urging members of Congress not to use federal employees and retirees as a means of avoiding falling off the “fiscal cliff.” We encourage you to send the text, and to modify it to make a stronger impact on the Hill. Send the message to your senators and representative today. Click here to link to our just-updated message, or visit the Protect America's Heartbeat page at: www.narfe.org/heartbeat.
 
 

#2 National Call Congress Day

Mark your calendar! Thursday, November 15, will be NARFE's National Call Congress Day. The post-election session of Congress will meet in the face of the “fiscal cliff,” and could take up much-delayed issues, including the postal overhaul, expiring tax provisions, Medicare reimbursements to providers, and sequestration (across-the-board cuts to Pentagon and nondefense budgets).

More information, including a detailed script, will be provided via email through the Legislative Hotline and GEMS. The Hotline is also available on a toll-free number, 877-217-8234. The toll free number for the Capitol switchboard is 866-220-0044.
 
 



#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - October 5, 2012

  #####################

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 

“I urge each NARFE member to use the instructions below to send the NARFE message to Congress now while Capitol Hill is relatively calm. The looming 'fiscal cliff' presents a daunting test for any Congress, no less a lame-duck session. Now, during the proverbial 'calm before the storm,' is a perfect opportunity to reinforce our message. Both the e-mail traffic now and phone traffic during mid-November will count in our continuing Advocacy in Action competition.”
 

#######
























#1 Fiscal Cliff Demands Shared Sacrifice, Feds Hit Repeatedly
 

NARFE's Legislative Action Center has just been updated with a new alert. Use the prepared text or revise it. Send our message to your senators and your representative. CLICK HERE to link to our just-updated message. (The specific website address is http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=61901426.)
 
 

#######
























#2 SAVE THE DATE - Call Congress Day

Mark your calendar! Thursday, November 15, will be NARFE's National Call Congress Day. The post-election session of Congress will meet in the face of the “fiscal cliff” and could take up much-delayed issues, including the postal overhaul, expiring tax provisions, Medicare reimbursements to providers, and sequestration (across-the-board cuts to Pentagon and nondefense budgets).

More information, including a detailed script, will be provided via email through the Legislative Hotline and GEMS. The Hotline is also available on a toll-free number, 877-217-8234. The toll free number for the Capitol switchboard is 866-220-0044.
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline – September 28, 2012

 #####################

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

With Senate passage of the continuing resolution, both chambers have left Capitol Hill to fundraise and campaign. The first presidential debate is October 3. Early voting has begun is many states. Make sure to take advantage this opportunity or absentee voting.”

#######

#1 Senate Passes Continuing Resolution, Pay Freeze Extension

As expected, the Senate voted 62-30 in a rare Saturday session to pass the six-month continuing resolution, House Joint Resolution 117. This legislation, in lieu of the 12 regular appropriations bills, provides funding for all government programs through March 27, 2013, set at the levels agreed to in last summer’s Budget Control Act. On September 28, President Obama signed the legislation officially extending the pay freeze for federal employees until March 27. More information on the legislation can be found at www.congress.gov.

#######

#2 SAVE THE DATE – Call Congress Day

Mark your calendar! Thursday, November 15, will be NARFE’s National CallCongress Day. The post-election session of Congress will meet in the face of the “fiscal cliff” and could take up much-delayed issues, including the postal overhaul, expiring tax provisions, Medicare reimbursements to providers and sequestration (across-the-board cuts to Pentagon and nondefense budgets).

More information, including a detailed script, will be provided via email through the Legislative Hotline and GEMS. The Hotline is also available on a toll free number, 877-217-8234. The toll free number for the Capitol switchboard is 866-220-0044.
 
 

#######

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at leg@narfe.org or call 703-838-7760.
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.
***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - September 21, 2012
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin on FEHBP Premiums
 

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced the average premium for those covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will increase by 3.4 percent in 2013. The average enrollee share will rise 3.7 percent, while the average government share will increase 3.3 percent. Last year's average increase was 3.8%. Premiums for the Federal Dental and Vision Insurance Program will remain almost unchanged in 2013, a bright spot for enrollees since the government does not contribute to these plans.
 

If you are among the 991,000 annuitants covered by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) Standard plan and opt for family coverage, your $3.59 monthly premium increase will consume the anticipated COLA on the first $256 of your 2013 monthly annuity. If you are among the 119,000 annuitants in the second most-subscribed plan - BC/BS Basic - your $14.28 per month premium increase for family coverage will consume the anticipated COLA on the first $1,020 of your 2013 monthly annuity. More information on 2013 Open Season can be found below. The official COLA for 2013 will be reported October 16; therefore, the above numbers are estimates.
 
 

#######



























#1 Continuing Resolution, Pay Freeze Extension Pass House, Await Senate

The Senate will convene over the weekend to vote on the six-month continuing resolution (CR) House Joint Resolution 117. This legislation, in lieu of the 12 regular appropriations bills, provides funding through March 27, 2013, set at the levels agreed to in last summer's Budget Control Act. H.J.Res. 117 passed in the House by a vote of 321-91 on September 13. Senate passage and a presidential signing are expected, making official a three-month extension of the pay freeze for federal employees. Upon enactment, both chambers will be in adjournment until after the November 6 elections. More information on the legislation can be found at: www.congress.gov.
 
 

#######

#2 Open Season and FEHBP Premiums

OPM announced the Open Season for health, vision and dental plans this year will run from Monday, November 12, 2012, through Monday, December 10, 2012. NARFE magazine provides an annual analysis of Federal Benefits Open Season in its October, November and December issues. “Open Season Report: 2012 Preview” appears on pp. 40-43 of the October magazine. The OPM website for health insurance premiums is http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/rates/index.asp. For rates for national fee-for-service plans, please visit http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/rates/nonpostalffs2013.pdf. The full benefit packages for all 230 plans should be available before the end of October.
 
 

#######



























#3 Convention Documents Including Legislative Report

NARFE's Legislative Director, Julie Tagen, presented a legislative update at the NARFE convention in Sparks, NV. The PowerPoint ® slides for Tagen's report and the report of the Legislative Committee are among several documents available on the NARFE website. Use http://www.narfe.org/convention2012/
 
 

#######
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at: leg@narfe.org or call 703/838-7760.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - September 7, 2012

 #####################

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 “With NARFE's 32nd National Convention and the presidential nominating conventions concluded, our focus must be on Congress, the elections and the post-election lame-duck session during November and December. The House and Senate return to Washington on September 10. Much work remains to be done as crucial fiscal deadlines loom, and it's time for NARFE members to continue pressuring members of Congress to not use federal employees and retirees as their piggybank!”
 
 

#######




























#1 Congress Returns, Fiscal Year Ends, Pay Freeze Extended for Three Months

The dozen individual annual appropriations bills will be abandoned and replaced by a single, six-month continuing resolution (CR) in order to avoid a showdown over a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on September 30. As reported here previously, House and Senate leaders and the White House have reached a tentative agreement on a CR, funding the government for the next six months at the levels agreed to in the Budget Control Act passed last summer. As always, the devil will be in the details.

Additionally, the president announced last month that absent a comprehensive budget, he is delaying implementation of a scheduled raise for federal employees in January. The president initially proposed a modest .5 percent pay raise for federal employees, but has since decided to continue the pay freeze until Congress passes the appropriations bills. At the earliest, feds will receive a raise in April. The high stakes demand close monitoring and continued grass-roots meetings with members of Congress, their challengers and candidates in the many open seats.
 
 

#######




























#2 Friendly Advocacy Competition Continues
 

NARFE members are relentless advocates for their earned benefits.
To encourage and reward grass-roots legislative activity, the Legislative Department is sponsoring a friendly competition among NARFE federations. Federations will be rewarded for congressional outreach at the federation and chapter levels during 2012.

The year has been divided into two periods: activity occurring from January 1-June 30, and July 1-December 31. The second half of the year's competition has begun, and information is being gathered now.

The federation accumulating the most points during the two periods will receive one free registration to the 2013 Legislative Training Conference, scheduled for March 9-12. 2013. Registration for the Legislative Training Conference will begin October 1. For more information on the conference, please visit the Legislation section of the NARFE website at: http://www.narfe.org/legislation/.

#######




























#3 NARFE Concludes Successful Convention in Reno-Sparks

On August 30, NARFE concluded yet another successful National Convention in Reno-Sparks, NV, with roughly 1,100 members in attendance. The delegates formally adopted the Association's legislative agenda for the 113th Congress, and elected new national leaders. The four current National Officers were all re-elected at Convention, as well as three new regional vice presidents. They are: Region 1, Arthur Pike of Maine; Region 2, Evelyn Kirby of Maryland; and Region 7, Frank Impinna of Colorado. The National Officers and all 10 RVPs will meet at the NARFE Headquarters the week of November 12th.
 
 

#4 Party Platforms Posted

With the conclusion of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, also comes the official party platforms. The Republican Party platform is posted at:  http://www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/. The Democratic Party platform is posted at: http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 71,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's Legislative Department at: leg@narfe.org.

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - August 15, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“The cover story of the September issue of NARFE magazine is 'The Fed Next Door.' This article seeks to disabuse holders of the stereotype of federal employees as 'bureaucrats' located only in Washington, DC. I urge you to read it and share it widely, especially with your representative and both senators. These are the numbers to cite during 'Meet Your Candidates Month' now through Labor Day. Set up your meeting today!” The next scheduled Hotline is September 7.
 
 

#######





























#1 Consumer Prices Decrease in July

On August 15th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/cpi or 202-691-6994) released July consumer price information. The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, the CPI-W, decreased 0.2 percent in July to 225.568. July's index, the first of three to be averaged, is 1.0 percent higher than last year's third quarter average index of 223.233. August and September consumer price indices will be released September 14th and October 16th respectively.
 
 

#######





























#2 Congressional Votes Posted on NARFE Legislative Action Center

Prior to publication in the October issue of NARFE magazine, five House floor votes and four Senate floor votes have been identified as important to NARFE members. To learn how your congressional delegation voted on these measures, and to track votes dating back to 2003, visit our Legislative Action Center at: http://capwiz.com/narfe/keyvotes.xc/?lvl=C.

#######





























#3 Free Information on Congress and Campaigns

Competing news outlets give away much of the information they sell to deep-pocketed organizations in Washington. Try any of the following free e-newsletters for policy positions and campaign info including links to campaign ads.

Congressional Quarterly-Roll Call: http://corporate.cqrollcall.com/content/11/en/

Politico (campaign daily) with links: http://www.politico.com/morningscore/

National Journal Need2Know: http://www.nationaljournal.com/n2ksignup

Congress.org, a nonpartisan news and information website dedicated to encouraging civic participation: (http://www.congress.org/news/who-we-are/) .
 
 

#######

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's legislative department at: leg@narfe.org.

***
NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin Will be a Guest

on Federal News Radio Wednesday Morning

Alexandria, VA - NARFE National President Joseph A. Beaudoin will appear on the radio program Your Turn with Mike Causey Wednesday, August 15, at 10 a.m. (ET). The interview will focus on a variety of issues facing federal employees and retirees in Congress, as well as the Association's upcoming 32nd Biennial National Convention. The program will air nationwide on www.FederalNewsRadio.com and in the Washington, DC, metro area on WFED 1500AM.

Beaudoin will provide an overview of the Association's National Convention, where nearly 2,000 NARFE members will descend upon Reno-Sparks, NV, from August 26 – 30, to discuss the future of the Association, as well as hear from leaders in the federal community. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry will join NARFE members on Monday, August 27; Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-NV, will address delegates on Tuesday, August 28; and Federal News Radio’s Mike Causey will speak several times throughout the four-day event.

Beaudoin will be joined by Jessica Klement, NARFE communications and legislative representative. Klement will discuss the role federal employees and retirees will play in deficit-reduction strategies before the 112th Congress concludes later this year.

Your Turn airs Wednesdays from 10:00 - 11:00 am and can be heard on www.federalnewsradio.com or WFED 1500AM in the Washington, DC area.

NARFE’s Beaudoin: Guest on FederalNewsRadio.com
Who: NARFE National President Joseph Beaudoin
What: Your Turn with Mike Causey
Where: www.federalnewsradio.com and WFED 1500AM
When: Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 10 a.m. ET

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - August 3, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 
 

“The Federal-Postal Coalition's America Counts on Us advocacy campaign held a well-attended candidate forum in northern Virginia this week, with Senate candidate Tim Kaine, D. NARFE and its partners in the Coalition produced a large turnout, which earned media coverage, including by The Washington Post. The Coalition hopes to set up a similar event with candidate George Allen, R, who was unable to attend the forum.” For more coverage of the event, visit NARFE's redesigned website at www.narfe.org.
 
 

#######































#1 House Passes Several Bills Impacting Current and Future Feds and Retirees

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed three pieces of legislation that would have an impact on federal employees and retirees if signed into law. The first, H.R. 828, would give agencies the authority to fire federal employees who are delinquent in paying their taxes, and does not allow for the hiring of individuals with the same tax status. Only 3 percent of federal employees are delinquent, compared to almost 20 percent of the general population, and the bill is, in the words of Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA, “a solution in search of a problem.” The Senate is not expected to take up the legislation.

The House also passed H.R. 4365, which clarifies an existing law allowing the Internal Revenue Service to levy funds in Thrift Savings Plan accounts. This is common practice among private-sector pension plans. Last, the House passed S. 300, the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2011, which the Senate passed in April. The legislation would require agencies to keep track of all their card holders and the accompanying spending limits. Agencies also would have the authority to remove employees who violate card rules or commit fraud.
 
 

#2 Congressional Leaders and White House Agree to Continuing Resolution

A six-month extension of current spending priorities has been agreed to by House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV; and the Obama administration. This agreement, which will come in the form of a continuing resolution (CR), to be voted on in September, avoids a showdown over a potential government shutdown at the end of the federal government's fiscal year, September 30. For a variety of reasons, this negotiated punt, once executed, defers a portion of the growing fiscal uncertainty until April 2013.
 
 

#######































#3 Have You Scheduled Your August Meetings Yet?

August is NARFE's “Meet Your Candidates” month! With federal employees and annuitants remaining a target in deficit-reduction talks, the August congressional recess is a critical time for NARFE members to get involved in defending the earned retirement, pay and health benefits of federal workers and annuitants. Congressional campaigns will be in full swing as the summer winds down and Election Day looms ever closer. Members of Congress are now back in their districts for the next five weeks. Look to attend public events or try organizing a NARFE event.  NARFE's Protect America's Heartbeat Toolkit provides a variety of resources at: http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/toolkit.cfm. Start mobilizing today!
 
 

#######































#4 Congressional Votes Posted on NARFE Legislative Action Center

Prior to publication in the October issue of NARFE magazine, five House floor votes and four Senate floor votes have been identified as important to NARFE members. To learn how your congressional delegation voted on these measures, and to track votes dating back to 2003, visit our Legislative Action Center at http://capwiz.com/narfe/keyvotes.xc/?lvl=C.
 
 

#######
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE's legislative department at: leg@narfe.org.
 
 

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - July 27, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 

“The NARFE 32nd National Convention is right around the corner. Have you registered yet? If not, please join hundreds of your fellow NARFE members in discussing NARFE's future, the impact of legislative changes on federal employees and retirees, and the best way to recruit new NARFE members. More information on the Convention is provided below. I hope to see you in Reno-Sparks, NV, next month!”
 
 

#######
































#1 House Leadership Expresses Support for a Long-term Continuing Resolution

In a meeting with NARFE members and other federal employee associations, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, predicted the House leadership will choose to pass a continuing resolution (CR) rather than engage in a protracted fight for individual appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year. Various news outlets are also reporting that congressional leadership is looking to move a six-month CR at funding levels agreed to as part of the Budget Control Act passed a year ago. While the House has passed seven of the 12 annual appropriations bills, the Senate has yet to vote on any of them. Furthermore, six of the seven House-passed measures face a veto threat from the White House. A long-term CR funding agencies at least until March 2013 would avoid a big budget debate, as well as a threat of a government shutdown, in a contentious election year.
 
 

#######
































#2 New NARFE-PAC Breakfast and More at the National Convention

NARFE will sponsor its first-ever NARFE-PAC breakfast on Tuesday, August 28, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Poolside Terrace at the Convention hotel. Mike Causey, host of Federal News Radio's “Federal Report,” will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are $35, or free for Sustainers who have signed up for monthly NARFE-PAC contributions of $10 or more. Space is limited.  To reserve a spot in advance or to get more information, please e-mail jhatton@narfe.org, or call 703-838-7760, ext. 267.

For more information on the entire Convention, which runs from August 26 through 30, please visit: http://www.narfe.org/convention2012/.
The event, titled NARFE: Our Best Bet for the Future, promises to be one of our best Conventions yet!
 
 

#######
































#3 Have You Scheduled Your August Meetings Yet?

August is NARFE's “Meet Your Candidates” month! With federal employees and annuitants remaining a target in deficit-reduction talks, the August congressional recess is a critical time for NARFE members to get involved in defending the earned retirement, pay and health benefits of federal workers and annuitants. Congressional campaigns will be in full swing as the summer winds down and Election Day looms ever closer. Members of Congress will be in their districts August 6-September 7, and there is plenty of time to organize an event. NARFE's Protect America's Heartbeat's Toolkit provides a variety of resources at: http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/toolkit.cfm. Start mobilizing today!
 
 

#######
































#4 New NARFE Website to be Unveiled August 1!

After months of hard work, NARFE Headquarters is pleased to announce a major redesign of the NARFE website is nearing completion and is expected to launch on August 1. The goals of the redesign include giving the website a new look, a new functionality and, most importantly, making it more user-friendly for NARFE members. The main home page has been streamlined to provide you with the most important latest NARFE news, as well as provide potential NARFE members and those looking to learn more about NARFE easier access to what we're all about. We hope you will take some time and navigate NARFE's newly redesigned website. Visit often - not just for reports and publications - but also to stay abreast of current NARFE news and issues affecting not only our Association, but also you as federal employees and retirees. Should you have any concerns or comments about the new site, please e-mail NARFE at hq@narfe.org. For any technical questions contact webmaster@narfe.org.

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please e-mail NARFE's legislative department at: leg@narfe.org.
 
 

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - July 20, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“On Monday, July 16, I attended a meeting at the White House to discuss issues affecting seniors in America.
The meeting highlighted how budget cuts, especially to Medicare and Medicaid, would affect older Americans.”

(More information is posted at the top of our website.
The URL is http://www.narfe.org/home/articles.cfm?ID=2921)
 
 

#######

































#1 Appropriations, Behind Schedule, Postponement Possible
 
 

Last week's Hotline added overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service to the list of issues postponed until after the November elections. Now it appears that House-Senate disagreement over total discretionary spending and with so little time to complete the dozen appropriation bills before the start of the government's fiscal year, October 1, that some in Congress favor a continuing resolution, commonly referred to as a “CR”.  Passing a CR into 2013 would avoid a showdown over a potential government shutdown.

Here's how Kerry Young of Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call reported this development:

“In a letter signed by 20 members of the House and Senate, including several leaders of the GOP's conservative wing, and circulated by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., the lawmakers said they would seek a CR at a “fiscally responsible” level that would avert a new showdown over a potential government shutdown in the fall. Conservatives may vote for a stopgap measure at roughly the current annual spending level of $1.043 trillion if it extends into the next session of Congress, offering a kind of temporary cease-fire in the House GOP's bid to cut $15 billion from discretionary spending.”
 
 

#######

































#2 August Is Meet Your Candidates Month! Action More Critical Than Ever Before
 
 

Lawmakers debate; candidates count. In August, every member of Congress running for re-election will be in campaign mode, meeting with constituents and fighting for votes. NARFE must be part of their “count” during the recess scheduled from the close of business on August 3 to September 10. This recess allows NARFE to distinguish itself from hundreds of other groups by its active engagement in every state and congressional district. Final preparation by federation, district and chapter leaders to arrange face-to-face multi chapter candidate forums should be well under way. The legislative staff is eager to help NARFE leaders get to hear “yes”from candidates - incumbents, their challengers and those in the many open-seat races. NARFE's Protect America's Heartbeat's Toolkit provides a variety of resources at http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/toolkit.cfm.
 
 

#######

































#3 Consumer Prices Decline Slightly in June
 

June's CPI-W is 226.036 a second consecutive month-over-month decline.  Consumer price indices for July, the first month of the final quarter, are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 15. If there is no change in consumer prices through the final quarter, the cost of living adjustment (COLA) would be 1.3 percent. Full details are available on the NARFE web site.
(The specific URL is:

http://www.narfe.org/departments/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=2588.  )

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (taped message 202/691-6994) release on June indices is posted at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf
 
 

#######

































#4 Employees Tapped forCost Savings Ideas, Submissions Due July 24th
 
 

The Administration is once again running its annual Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award contest, encouraging federal employees to submit their cost savings ideas. The winner will have an opportunity to meet the president and discuss his/her idea in person.

Now in its fourth year, the SAVE award has generated more than 75,000 ideas, dozens of which have been included in the President's annual budget to Congress. Before submitting your idea, ask yourself the following questions: Does the idea reduce costs in a way that is concrete and quantifiable? Does the idea improve the way that government operates by improving the quality of output at lower costs, simplifying processes to reduce administrative burden, or improving the speed of government operations to improve efficiency? Can the idea be implemented administratively by the Executive Branch or would it require an act of Congress?

The deadline for submissions is July 24, 2012. For more information on the contest and how to submit your idea, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/save-award.
 
 

#######

































#5 Gateway to Congressional District Maps
 

A web gem was discovered this week. For maps showing new congressional districts use

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=2012+congressional+district+maps&qpvt=2012+congressional+district
+maps&FORM=IGRE
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
 
 
 
 

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - June 29, 2012

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 “The media component of our 'Protect America's Heartbeat' campaign is being warmly embraced by NARFE members. Thank you! In the last few weeks, 550 NARFE activists have sent 580 Letters to the Editor, like the one provided below, to 372 local newspapers using NARFE's Legislative Action Center media component. This is a significant increase in the number of users, including many first-timers. While not every letter will get printed, many have appeared in papers across the country. Keep up the good work! If your letter is used, please email us a copy.”
 
 

#######


































#1 Phased Retirement Cleared as Part of Larger Bill

Today, first the House (373-52) and then Senate (74-19) approved the Conference Report on H.R. 4348, a bill authorizing transportation programs for the next twenty-seven months, as well as extending the current interest rate on subsidized undergraduate student loans. Included in the measure is a provision establishing a new “phased retirement” option, under which retirement-eligible federal employees, with agency approval, could work part time and collect a partial annuity. This allows employees to ease into retirement, while mentoring and training their replacements, creating a mutually beneficial arrangement for both employees and the government. NARFE supports the creation of this new option.
 
 

#######


































#2 Thank You for Generous Response to NARFE-PAC Appeal in NARFE Magazine

Contributions are arriving daily in response to the NARFE-PAC appeal made in the July issue of NARFE magazine. NARFE Treasurer Richard G. Thissen, whose department is responsible for the collection and distribution of NARFE-PAC funds, calls the NARFE-member response “very promising.” The Treasurer reminds all members that now is an important time to make a contribution to NARFE-PAC, the federal employee and retiree defense fund! Fulfillment of pins and perks for current and previous qualifying donors will be sent as soon as possible.
 
 

#######


































#3 July 4 Letter to the Editor

As our nation nears its 236th birthday, the Fourth of July holds a special place in the hearts of active and retired federal workers. As such, NARFE has drafted a sample Letter to the Editor for you to send your local newspaper. It only takes a few minutes. First, look up your local newspaper and submit the letter online by clicking here. You can also look up contact information on the editorial page or website of your local newspaper.

Your letter should include a few sentences from the heart about how important this day is to you on a personal level. Here's a sample Letter to the Editor below to get you started.

As a former/current federal worker with # years of service at the Department of xxx, the Fourth of July is an important day for me. Since the dawn of our nation, federal workers have played a significant role in America's achievements.

The contributions of federal workers will be very much in evidence this week as Americans prepare to celebrate our nation's birthday. Millions of Americans will check a weather report prepared by the National Weather Service, grill meat inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and fly in skies kept safe by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration. Others will enjoy time outdoors in our National Parks, travel with children protected by car seats inspected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and visit post offices to mail letters and packages to loved ones serving in the military.

My fellow federal workers and I are proud of the jobs we've done for America for the last 236 years. We wish you, and the nation we love, a happy Independence Day.
 
 

#######


































#4 Senate Panel Approves Hatch Act Reform

On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved S. 2170, the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012, introduced by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-HI. The bill would (1) eliminate the prohibition against state and local employees seeking partisan federal elective office; (2) make employees of the District of Columbia subject to the provisions applicable to state and local employees instead of the stricter provisions applicable to federal employees; and (3) revise penalties for violations to allow for less severe penalties than termination of employment.

As a reminder, there is nothing in the current law preventing federal retirees from engaging in partisan politics. The Office of Special Counsel provides detailed information on the Hatch Act on its website, http://www.osc.gov/hatchact.htm.
 
 

#5 Upcoming Congressional Recess Provides Opportunity to Meet with Members

Both the House and Senate are in recess the first week of July. The Independence Day work period is an excellent opportunity for groups or individual NARFE members to meet with their elected officials. An appointment is preferable, but just dropping in is permissible. The NARFE legislative staff (leg@narfe.org or 703-838-7760, ext. 201) can supply phone numbers and addresses for your representative and senators. Make sure to take along the most recent issue of NARFE magazine, and report your meetings to the Legislative Department. If setting up a meeting isn't possible, aim to attend a town hall meeting; a schedule is usually listed on legislators' websites. Given the congressional recess, the Hotline will not be published next week.
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - June 22, 2012
 #####################

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

 “Members of Congress have many difficult decisions and tough votes ahead. While it may seem like most public policy choices have been postponed, party leaders in both chambers and both parties are making schedules and whipping their members behind the scenes. That is, asking them how they will vote next week or in a lame-duck session. Benefits for current and future federal retirees, especially pay and retirement contributions, continue to be targets. Since the beginning of this Congress, 46,526 NARFE activists have sent messages from our Legislative Action Center, and I urge you to build on this momentum by sending our current Protect America's Heartbeat message. Silence betokens consent.”
 

#####################





































#1  July 4 Letter to the Editor

As our nation nears its 236th birthday, the Fourth of July holds a special place in the hearts of active and retired federal workers. As such, NARFE has drafted a sample Letter to the Editor for you to send your local newspaper. It only takes a few minutes. First, look up your local newspaper and submit the letter online by clicking here. You can also look up contact information on the editorial page or website of your local newspaper.

Your letter should include a few sentences from the heart about how important this day is to you on a personal level. Here's a sample Letter to the Editor below to get you started.

As a former/current federal worker with # years of service at the Department of xxx, the Fourth of July is an important day for me. Since the dawn of our nation, federal workers have played a significant role in America's achievements.

The contributions of federal workers will be very much in evidence this week as Americans prepare to celebrate our nation's birthday. Millions of Americans will check a weather report prepared by the National Weather Service, grill meat inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and fly in skies kept safe by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration. Others will enjoy time outdoors in our National Parks, travel with children protected by car seats inspected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and visit post offices to mail letters and packages to loved ones serving in the military.

My fellow federal workers and I are proud of the jobs we've done for America for the last 236 years. We wish you, and the nation we love, a happy Independence Day.
 
 

#######

#2 Civil Servants Not A Piggy Bank

Facing a June 30 deadline, President Obama has again urged Congress to find a mutually agreeable offset for the $6 billion cost of extending the current interest rate on federally guaranteed student loans. One option proposed by House and Senate Republican leaders, modifying a proposal in the last two Obama Administration budgets, would increase federal employee retirement contributions by 1.2 percent of salary to offset the cost of extending the current interest rate on federally guaranteed student loans. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin's letter to Congress opposed any proposal that would use federal employees as a piggy bank for unrelated legislation. Now Beaudoin urges each NARFE to send our message to his or her congressional delegations. CLICK HERE to tell Congress not to trade federal employee pay for other congressional priorities.
 
 

#######

#3 Upcoming Congressional Recess Provides Opportunity to Meet with Members

 Both the House and Senate will be in recess for the first week of July. The Independence Day work period is an excellent opportunity for groups or individual NARFE members to meet with their elected officials. An appointment is preferable, but just dropping in is permissible. The NARFE legislative staff (leg@narfe.org or 703-838-7760, ext. 201) can supply phone numbers and addresses for your representative and senators. Make sure to take along the most recent issue of NARFE magazine, and report your meetings to the Legislative Department. If setting up a meeting isn't possible, aim to attend a town hall meeting (usually listed on legislators' websites).
 
 

#######

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - June 15, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin
 
 

“With one exception, the federation convention season has ended, and of the 42 conventions held in 2012, half elected a new president. In Connecticut, I swore in the newly elected president, who takes over from our longest serving president. In addition to this large class of new leaders, 16 new federation presidents were elected in 2011. Helping these new leaders succeed is the shared mission of every NARFE member. One immediate way to help is to send our updated Protect America's Heartbeat message to your congressional delegation. Do it for yourself and your federation.”
 
 

#####################




































#1 Federal Employees Singled Out Again

As reported last week, House and Senate Republican leaders sent a letter to President Obama that proposed increasing federal employee retirement contributions by 1.2 percent of salary as one of two options to offset the cost of extending the current interest rate on federally guaranteed student loans. Both parties are in favor of extending the current rate, but they disagree on how to pay for it. Without the extension, interest rates on Stafford loans will increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin's letter to Congress opposed any proposal that would use federal employees as a piggybank for unrelated legislation. Please add your voice to the more than 1,500 NARFE members who have already sent our message to their congressional delegations. CLICK HERE to tell Congress not to trade federal employee pay for other congressional priorities.
The URL is http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=61441716&PROCESS=Take+Action.
 
 

#####################

 #2 Upcoming Congressional Recess Provides Opportunity to Meet with Members

Both the House and Senate will be in recess for the first week of July. The Independence Day work period is an excellent opportunity for groups or individual NARFE members to meet with their elected officials. An appointment is preferable, but just dropping in is permissible. The NARFE legislative staff (leg@narfe.org or 703-838-7760, ext. 201) can supply phone numbers and addresses of your representative and senators. Make sure to take the most recent issue of NARFE magazine, and report your meetings to the Legislative Department. If attending a meeting isn't possible, aim to attend a town hall meeting.
 
 

#######

#3 Consumer Prices Decline in May, 4 Months Remain to Be Measured

On June 14, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/cpi or 202-691-6994) reported the May consumer prices. The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, the CPI-W, the index used for Social Security, military and civil service retirement benefits, declined 0.2 percent in May to 226.600. However, during the first eight months of the measurement year, the CPI-W has increased by 1.5 percent. June consumer price indices will be released July 17.
 
 

#######

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - June 8, 2012
 
 

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Congress once again is trying to use federal employees to pay for unrelated pieces of legislation. This time it's for an extension of student loan interest rates. Make sure you tell Congress that enough is enough! Read the update below for more information.”
 

#######





































#1 NARFE Opposes Using Feds as Student Loan Interest Rate Extension

On May 31, congressional Republican leaders wrote a letter to President Obama that proposed increasing federal employee retirement contributions by 1.2 percent of salary as one of two options to offset the cost of extending the current interest rates on federally guaranteed student loans. Both parties would like to extend the current rates, but they disagree on how to pay for it without increasing the deficit. Without the extension, interest rates on student loans would increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin wrote a letter to Congress, opposing any proposal that would use federal employees as a piggybank for unrelated legislation.  Please join him in telling Congress not to trade federal employee pay.
 
 

#######




































#2 Number of Federal Employees Declines

According to an analysis by USA Today, federal employment has fallen for seven months in a row. In April 2012, there were 11,600 fewer workers compared with a year earlier, and employment dropped by 5,000 just between April and May of this year. The current budget situation likely contributed to the drop in employment, as many agencies are not replacing workers as quickly. It is also possible that political pressure to reduce the size of the federal workforce may have contributed to the decline. To read the article accompanying this information, please visit: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120603/PERSONNEL02/206030307/1055/AGENCY.
 
 

#######




































#3 Senate Committee Looking to Decrease Contractor Pay

As part of a provision included in the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Senate Armed Services Committee approved capping Department of Defense (DOD) contractor pay at $230,700, the same amount of money the vice president makes. The current cap is $763,029 and is based on the median compensation of senior executives in large U.S. corporations. At non-defense agencies, only the top five executives can earn that much, but DOD is not subject to the same limitations. The bill still has to be approved by the Senate before moving to conference with the House, which approved its version of the FY13 NDAA without the contractor caps in May.
 
 

#######




































#4 Meet Your Legislators During the July 4th Congressional Recess

The next congressional district work period will take place the week of July 2, when both chambers will be in recess. This time provides you with a great opportunity to meet with your legislators. Whether it's attending a meeting in your representative's district office or attending a town hall meeting, do not allow this time to pass without bringing your concerns to the attention of those who represent you in Congress.
 
 

#######
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS e-mail addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
 

***
NARFE Legislative Hotline – June 1, 2012

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“Due to popular demand, the chart of pending legislation that ran in the May 2012 cover story, Can We Stop the Congressional Steamroller?, will become a recurring feature in NARFE magazine. We want to keep officers and activists well informed by using NARFE magazine because it reaches all NARFE members. We have also updated the ‘Legislation’ portion of the ‘Issues and Legislation’ module of our Legislative Action Center on our website

(http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/bills/).”

#######

#1 House approved further pay freeze in appropriations measure

On May 31, the House included an extension of the pay freeze for certain federal employees in the Military Construction and Veterans Administration Appropriations Bill, H.R. 5854. This measure will eventually go to conference committee with the Senate, giving us a chance to remove it.  This repeated targeting of federal employees adds urgency to our request: Please send the updated action letter on the Protect America’s Heartbeat home page to let your Representative and Senators know that you’re a member of their constituency. The letter can be found at: http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/.

CLICK HERE for easiest path (http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=61372401)

#######

#2 Use June to prepare, organize and schedule “Meet Your Candidates” forums

Please use your June chapter meeting to plan and coordinate “Meet Your Candidates Month,” August 4 through September 9, when members of Congress and their challengers will be most available for candidate forums and other face-to-face meetings. Use the Protect America’s Heartbeat Toolkit for letter templates and other useful information. Use http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/resources.cfm as the gateway to public and “members only” materials.

#######

#3 Upcoming

After alternating weeks out of Washington, both the House and Senate will be in session during the week of June 4.  The next congressional recess will be the week of July 2, when both chambers will be out of session, providing you another opportunity to meet face-to-face with your representatives.

#######

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - May 25, 2012

 #####################

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“I want to salute a special group of NARFE activists for their Memorial Day outreach to local newspaper editors. In just the last 48 hours, over 100 NARFE members used a NARFE letter template and the media component of our Legislative Action Center to send their personalized Letter to the Editor to local newspapers. Media outreach is an important element of our Protect America's Heartbeat campaign, and countering the very few 'bad apples' in the federal service is especially important now. Read on to learn how you, too, can send a letter to your local editor, read it in print, clip it and share it.”

#######








































#1 Senate State Work Period

 The Senate recess runs from the close of business May 25 until June 4. This “state work period” is an opportunity for NARFE members to visit every senator in the country, whether at a town hall or face-to-face meeting. Use the updated information provided in the Protect America's Heartbeat Toolkit to facilitate to your meetings. The Toolkit is an invaluable resource in combating the negative image and misconceptions about federal employees and retirees. Explore the updated Toolkit at: http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/resources.cfm.

 #######

#2 New Action Letter Available on Website

 Things on Capitol Hill have been quiet for federal employees and retirees this week, creating a “calm before the storm” feeling amongst the federal community. Now is a great time to remind your members of Congress that federal employees and retirees live in, work in and give back to their communities. Use the updated action letter on the Protect America's Heartbeat home page to let your representatives know that you're a member of their constituency. The letter can be found at: http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=61372401
 
 

#######

  #3 Memorial Day Letter to the Editor

 There's still time to send the Memorial Day Letter to the Editor template to your local newspaper. It only takes a few minutes. First, look up your local newspaper and submit the letter online by clicking here. You can also look up contact information on the editorial page or website of your local newspaper.  http://capwiz.com/narfe/dbq/media/

 Your letter should include a few sentences from the heart about how much our troops' work and sacrifice mean to you, or about a soldier whose memory you're honoring.

Here's a sample Letterto the Editor below to get you started.

 Letter to the Editor Example







































            Memorial Day is about more than summer road trips and mattress sales.
       For years, I served our country alongside my fellow federal workers. In addition to serving every American, one of the federal workforce's greatest responsibilities is to support and equip our nation's men and women in uniform. My civil servant colleagues and I felt a great responsibility to provide for our troops, and we mourned each time we learned of a fallen soldier.
      So to me, Memorial Day is sacred. On behalf of America's federal workers - half of whom work directly with our nation's military - we salute our fallen heroes and thank the men and women who are currently serving around the world to defend the United States.
 

NAME

FORMER/CURRENT POSITION
 
 

#####################
 
 

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website: www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
 
 

 ***
 

NARFE Legislative Hotline – May 18, 2012

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“New federation presidents have been elected in 14 states by delegates attending 32 conventions. More will be elected at the nine remaining conventions in May and June. Federations, including those not holding a convention, have installed new federation and district leaders. Their willingness to serve deserves our eager assistance. In a similar call to service, I urge you to plan for NARFE’s 32nd National Convention by reading my column, “Ready for Reno?” in the June issue of NARFE, and additional coverage and forms on pages 36-41.” (Find useful information at http://www.narfe.org/convention2012/)

#######

#1 Where Are Your Members of Congress?

The House is in recess until Wednesday, May 30, and the Senate’s Memorial Day recess runs from the close of business May 25 until June 4. These district work periods are an opportunity to visit your Members of Congress – whether at a town hall or face-to-face meeting – and use the updated information provided in the Protect America’s Heartbeat toolkit. The toolkit is an invaluable resource in combating the negative image and misconceptions about federal employees and retirees. Explore the updated toolkit at http://www.narfe.org/heartbeat/resources.cfm.

#######

#2 Consumer Prices Rise in April

On May 15, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/cpi or 202/691-6994) reported that the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose to 227.012 in April, an increase of 0.31 percent from March. With five months remaining in the measurement year, the April index is 1.69 percent higher than last year’s third quarter average index (223.233). May consumer price indices will be released on June 14, 2012. More information is available to NARFE members at: http://www.narfe.org/departments/member/articles.cfm?ID=2588.

 #######

#3 Bipartisan Agreement Reached on the Need for Hatch Act Reform

The Hatch Act, the piece of legislation which forbids active federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, contains a lesser-known provision which prevents state and local government employees from running in a partisan election if their current position is tied to federal funds. The extent of those ties, and the penalties for Hatch Act violations, were the main subject of a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce hearing May 16.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, as well as all the witnesses present, agreed that the law, which hasn’t been modified in nearly 20 years, is in need of reform in order to allow qualified individuals to seek higher office. A bill introduced by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-MD, H.R. 4152, also garnered support among those present and may see movement in the future; Senator Daniel K. Akaka, D-HI, has introduced a similar bill, S. 2170. There is nothing in the current law preventing federal retirees from engaging in partisan politics, and neither piece of legislation seeks to change that. The Office of Special Counsel provides detailed information on the Hatch Act on its website: http://www.osc.gov/hatchact.htm.

#######

#4 Senate Committee Reports Bill Concerning Federal Contractors

On May 16, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee favorably reported legislation, S. 1100, which would prevent requiring a contractor to submit political information as part of a solicitation for a contract. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-ME, and 22 cosponsors support the bill in reaction to the White House's draft executive order that would require vendors to submit information about political contributions as part of their bid proposal packages to the government. Companion legislation, H.R. 2008, has been approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

#######

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline – May 11, 2012

Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin

“NARFE activists responded quickly to our Legislative Action Center’s ACTION ALERT this week. In under 48 hours, over 6,400 members, including some 1,400 first-timers, sent our message to their representatives. Despite these valiant efforts, the House passed, by a vote of 218-199, the Sequester Replacement and Reconciliation Act (H.R. 5652) yesterday (May 10). Details and our next steps to Protect America’s Heartbeat appear below.”

#######

#1 House Passes NARFE-Opposed Sequester Reconciliation Bill

Instead of recognizing the annual Public Service Recognition Week (May 6 – 12), the House continued singling out federal employees for further budget cuts. Enactment would mean a phased-in 5 percent payroll tax on middle-class federal workers in both federal retirement programs. The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, H.R 5652, “saves” $310 billion as a way to avoid automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect in January 2013.The Senate is NOT expected to review this measure.

NARFE’s press release is posted on the NARFE home page, www.narfe.org, and the vote is available on the Clerk’s website. (Use http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll247.xml)

#######

#2 Whistleblower Protection Wins Senate Passage – Now Needs House Approval

On May 8, the Senate unceremoniously passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, S. 743. Both the House and Senate have passed similar legislation in the past. This whistleblower protection legislation, repeatedly championed by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-HI, has a good chance of enactment this year. The measure enables all federal employees to report evidence of manipulation of scientific or technical information while receiving the same protections as if reporting on waste, fraud or abuse. Under select circumstances, the bill would grant whistleblowers access to a jury trial. The companion bill, H.R. 3289, sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-CA, won bipartisan approval by that committee last November.

#######

 #3 FINAL REMINDER – Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Saturday, May 12

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Saturday, May 12. As NARFE seeks to become a future official sponsor, please bag nonperishable food items and leave the bag at your mailbox for collection by your city or rural mail carrier on Saturday, May 12.

#######

OBTAINING THE HOTLINE:Thank you for using the Hotline.  This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses.  Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
 
 
 

***
 
 

NARFE Legislative Hotline – May 4, 2012

MESSAGE FROM NARFE PRESIDENT JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN

“Federation conventions bring together chapter, district and statewide NARFE leaders who do the heavy lifting for this organization. Recent conventions have elected new presidents in Panama, South Carolina, Tennessee, New Mexico, Missouri, Virginia and Ohio. Others will be elected in May and June. They, and all NARFE officers, need and deserve our help. Please reach out to these leaders to offer assistance such as chairing or serving on a committee.”

#######

#1 CELEBRATE PUBLIC SERVICE RECOGNITION WEEK

May 6 through 12 is Public Service Recognition Week. NARFE members should use this week to counter the recent bad publicity surrounding the General Services Administration and the Secret Service. A short Letter to the Editor template and a longer Op-Ed template are found at the end of this Hotline. Editors publish only letters from readers in their circulation zone and may prefer letters from subscribers, especially when submitted electronically. For assistance in drafting the letter, please feel free to contact NARFE’s legislative staff at leg@narfe.org.

Additional outreach via the media can be found in the completely updated PROTECT AMERICA HEARTBEAT Toolkit on our website. The gateway for facts about federal worker compensation and benefits, and resources to help you raise your voice in your community, are available for NARFE members. Log in as a member and direct your browser to:
http://www.narfe.org/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=2462&CFID=157420&CFTOKEN=13153894

The entire Toolkit document (56 pages) is posted at:
http://www.narfe.org/pdf/NARFE-ProtectAmericasHeartbeat-Toolkit_FINAL_3-26-12.pdf

#######

#2 NARFE-PAC: THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES’ AND RETIREES’ DEFENSE FUND

NARFE members are responding generously to President Joseph A. Beaudoin’s direct-mail solicitation for NARFE-PAC. So far more than $550,000 has been received. When congressional candidates make a written request for NARFE-PAC funds, our consultation process begins. The NARFE office requests input from local NARFE members via the federation’s NARFE-PAC Coordinator. While each federation operates by its own process, all involve consultation with NARFE members. Many coordinators use district officers to tap into their chapters to determine if an evidence-based consensus exists among NARFE members who live in the constituency. This consultation is time consuming but critical. The coordinator reports his or her findings to the legislative staff for presentation to the NARFE-PAC Board, the four National Officers. NARFE-PAC’s “Frequently Asked Questions,” a good source of further information, is posted on our website along with other NARFE-PAC resources.

#######

 #3 STAMP OUT HUNGER FOOD DRIVE IS SATURDAY, MAY 12

The largest one-day food drive in the country is the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, now in its 20th year. The National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association ask each postal customer to bag non-perishable food items and leave the bag at your mailbox for collection by your mail carrier on Saturday, May 12.

#######

OBTAINING THE HOTLINE:  Thank you for using the Hotline.  This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses.  Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
 
 

PUBLIC SERVICE RECOGNITION WEEK LETTER TO THE EDITOR TEMPLATE

As a federal employee/retiree, I think it is important to recognize our nation’s civil servants during Public Service Recognition Week (May 6-12).

Even though you may not stop and think about federal workers in your daily life, that doesn’t mean you don’t benefit from what they do.

There are thousands of federal employees right here in TOWN/CITY/STATE! Federal employees sound the alarm when a bad storm is coming, deliver the mail and LOCAL EXAMPLE OF FEDERAL WORKERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

The federal workforce has a proud legacy. Let’s take this opportunity to thank federal employees in our community for keeping our country safe and on track for more than two centuries.

PUBLIC SERVICE RECOGNITION WEEK OP-ED TEMPLATE

As a federal employee/retiree, I wanted to share my story with you during Public Service Recognition Week (May 6-12). The first thing you should know about my # years of service to America as a federal worker is that I loved the job I did for my country. IN ONE SENTENCE – WHERE DID YOU WORK AND WHY WAS YOUR JOB IMPORTANT?

Lock and Dam 50 on the Ohio River
The Wickets were raised by hand and with the help steam engine crane.
Hopper (setting prop with the 20' steel rod ) and his crew
( left to right) Tom Diaz (kneeling, who created this website for Kentucky),
Eddie Nunn, Ron Hall is behind Eddie and Lawson Hammond (far right).
The only thing holding that diving board in place is the weight of the people standing on the board.
To hook the prop James Hopper had to go out on the end of the board.
Sometimes the props won't set in the notch.
Photo by Tommy Carter
 

With the exception of astronauts and the SEAL team that caught Osama bin Laden, there aren’t many federal employees whose work is heralded in newspaper headlines. This doesn’t matter much to us.

Whether it’s our role to inspect spinach for traces of salmonella, open new international trade routes for U.S. companies to sell their products, patrol America’s borders, care for our veterans or acquire the best equipment for our soldiers, a federal employee’s satisfaction comes from the knowledge that America is safer and stronger because we did our jobs.

There are thousands of federal workers right here in TOWN/CITY/STATE! Federal workers sound the alarm when a bad storm is coming, deliver the mail and LOCAL EXAMPLE OF FEDERAL WORKERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

As you encounter these federal workers in our community this week – Public Service Recognition Week – I encourage you to let them know that you appreciate the work they do on our behalf.

Unfortunately, in Washington, some politicians have repeatedly singled out the pay and benefits of federal workers. This year, Congress has debated plans to cut federal employee paychecks and jobs to offset the costs of the payroll-tax holiday and a major highway bill, and to prevent cuts in the Pentagon’s budget.

If Congress continues on its current path, it will destroy the proud legacy of the civil service. Let’s take this opportunity to thank federal employees in our community for keeping our country safe and on track for more than two centuries.
 
 

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - April 27, 2012
 
 

MESSAGE FROM NARFE PRESIDENT JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN

“During my convention travels, legislative advocacy is a major part of my remarks and the subject of members' additional questions and comments. The week-long congressional recess beginning April 27 - May 7 requires NARFE members to be their own best advocates by meeting with their senators and representatives in their district offices. Take a copy of NARFE magazine and visit your lawmakers.”
 

#######














































#1 SENATE PASSES CUTS TO FEDERAL WORKERS' COMPENSATION

 On April 25, the Senate passed a comprehensive Postal Service overhaul bill, S. 1789, which included reductions to the benefit levels provided to any federal worker disabled by a work-related injury or illness.  At retirement age, injured federal employees would face a 25 percent reduction in compensation, and injured federal employees with dependents would no longer receive the 8.33 percent augmented compensation currently provided.

 NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin sent a letter to the Senate urging support for an amendment offered by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-HI, that would have prevented reductions in benefit levels.  Instead, it would have replaced those provisions with a House-passed bill, H.R. 2465, that focuses on achieving cost savings through fraud prevention, recoupment of overpayments and lowering the costs of health care for the injured employees.  The Senate rejected the amendment, with 46 senators voting in favor and 53 senators voting against.  (Roll call vote available here.)  The amendment needed 60 votes to pass.
 
 

#2 NARFE VICTORY: SENATE REMOVES THREAT TO FEHBP

 The Postal Service overhaul bill also contained a late addition that would have created a separate Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) plan available to Medicare-enrolled postal employees and retirees.  After reviewing the proposal, the Office of Personnel Management provided analysis that suggested the proposal would increase FEHBP premiums by an average of 2 percent, and up to 35 percent for one plan.

 NARFE President Joseph A.. Beaudoin sent a letter to the Senate urging support for an amendment offered by Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, and Ben Cardin, D-MD, that would prevent the creation of a separate plan.  Although the original agreement on amendments did not allow a vote on the Rockefeller-Cardin language, the senators were able to secure a vote, and the Senate passed the amendment by voice vote.
 
 

#######














































#3 HOUSE OVERSIGHT DOUBLES DOWN ON PAY FREEZE WITH PAY CUT

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 26 approved its budget reconciliation instruction by increasing federal employees' retirement contributions by 5 percent of pay over five years. This amounts to $80 billion in savings over 10 years. The Senate is not expected to take up this measure, but look for a similar proposal if Congress brings up deficit reduction in a lame-duck session after the November election.

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) employees' contributions would increase from 0.8 percent to 5.8 percent of pay by 2017, and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees' contributions would increase from 7 percent to 12 percent over the same period. The bill would increase pension contributions by 1.5 percent of pay in 2013, 0.5 percent in 2014, and 1 percent each year from 2015 to 2017. Newly hired federal employees beginning in 2013 with less than five years of previous federal service would immediately have to cover 5.8 percent of their FERS pensions, with no phase-in.

Lawmakers and their staffs covered by CSRS, and FERS covered lawmakers, would see their contributions go up even more, by 8.5 percent of pay over five years. FERS congressional staffers' contributions would increase 7.5 percent over five years. For new employees hired after Dec. 31, the measure would eliminate the FERS Annuity Supplement, which is available to employees who voluntarily retire before reaching age 62.

The committee also agreed Thursday to a bipartisan amendment from Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, and Stephen Lynch, D-MA, that would allow federal employees to apply the value of their unused annual or vacation leave toward their Thrift Savings Plan accounts.

#######
 

OBTAINING THE HOTLINE

Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS email addresses.  Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

***

NEEDED:  LUNCH AND LEARN SESSIONS PRESENTERS/SESSION LEADERS

NATIONAL CONVENTION, SPARKS-RENO, NV

AUGUST 26-30, 2012

In conjunction with the National Conventions, four Lunch and Learn Sessions will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, August, 29-30.   We are soliciting applications from those who would be willing to be a presenter or session leader for one of the Lunch and Learn sessions.  If you plan to attend the convention and would like to be considered, please submit background information about your presenter/session leader/teaching experiences  Each session will be one hour and includes Q&As, a wrap up, and an evaluation. Presenters will be required to prepare information and presentation material for their session. Sessions are limited to 250 members but there could be fewer members.

Following are the topics selected (please see May magazine for description):

1.     How to Sell NARFE to Prospective Members:  How do we sell NARFE?  How do we effectively tell our story and become spokes persons for NARFE?  How does “framing” our message make it better?  How is this important to recruiting new members and helping to keep our members engaged in NARFE?
2.     Communicating as It Applies to Volunteer Organizations:  Explore and learn communication techniques and skills as they apply to volunteer organizations.  How do we communicate with the different generations, as well as retired vs. active employees?
3.     Motivation: How Does This to Relate NARFE?  Learn how tried and true motivational techniques can help NARFE thrive.  Learn how motivating and engaging our members can build a stronger NARFE, and help to attract new members, while keeping our members interested and involved.
4.     Direct Marketing Super Hints Revealed (note: MGI will lead):  Learn about direct marketing tenets that are tried and true and how NARFE is incorporating some of these solutions into building a profitable and successful marketing strategy.

Please complete a separate one page resume and include the information requested below:

1.     NARFE Membership #, Chapter/Federation.  NAME, ADDRESS, CITY, STATE, PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL ADDRESS.
2.     Presenter/Session Leader/Teaching Experience:  Provide a brief description of your experience either with the federal government or the private sector with dates and/or assignments, type of subject matter, and type of format you are familiar with.
3.      Provide a statement of where and how you were trained in basic workshop presenter/leader/teaching techniques. (Federal government or college)
4.     State why you would like to take on this assignment and lead a session at the national convention.

If you would like to be considered as a Motivational Speaker, please provide the same information listed above, as well as specific motivational speaking experience.

Submit your resume by May 11, 2012 to Elaine Hughes at natsec@narfe.org.  If you have questions or need additional information, please call or e-mail.
 
 

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - February 3, 2012

MESSAGE FROM NARFE PRESIDENT JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN

“On February 1, we saw the federal community again singled out for a further year of frozen pay, when the House passed legislation, H.R. 3835, to extend the current two- year pay freeze for another year. The bill also includes pay for members of Congress and their staff. There are several actions NARFE members can take. These are outlined below.”

(To see how your representative voted, use http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll019.xml)

#######

1) NARFE PRESIDENT TESTIFIES BEFORE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE

On February 1, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia.  NARFE's testimony is available from the NARFE home page or use  http://www.narfe.org/pdf/Testimony_Federal_Retirement_Processing_2-1-12.pdf
and the video link is:
http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/oversight-of-government-management/hearings/federal-retirement-processing-ensuring-proper-and-timely-payments)

#######

2) SENATE FLOOR MAY CONSIDER BILL WITH NARFE-OPPOSED FECA PROVISION

The Senate may take up controversial legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, S. 1789, as early as the week of February 6. This legislation includes a NARFE-opposed provision to drastically change the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin's letter to all senators argues for removing the FECA provision. The letter is available to NARFE members on our website, www.narfe.org. (The URL for NARFE letters to Congress (please bookmark) is: http://www.narfe.org/departments/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=2653  The specific text is posted at: http://www.narfe.org/pdf/Opposing_S_1789.pdf

#######

3) USE LEGISLATIVE ACTION CENTER TO PROTECT AMERICA'S HEARTBEAT

NARFE's members made January 2012 one of the best months ever in the use of our Legislative Action Center.  Still, the stakes are higher and the environment more difficult than ever before.  NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin urges you, if you have not already done so, to use the link below to send NARFE's new (1/19/12) message to your congressional delegation.
CLICK HERE or use http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=60428501  You can edit the message if you like. 6,397 members have already acted. We urge you to join them now by CLICKING HERE!

#######

4)  NARFE HOUSE TESTIMONY AVAILABLE ON WEBSITES

David Snell, director of NARFE's Retirement Benefits Service Department, testified before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy.  To view archived video of the January 25 hearing, use

http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1566%3A1-25-2012-qretirement-readiness-strengthening-the-federal-pension-systemq&catid=15&Itemid=26

C-SPAN's Video Library has archived this hearing. To view the hearing, use http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/303897-1#

#######

5) NARFE CALL CONGRESS DAY PLANNING REMINDER

Here (again) is the step-by-step process for NARFE's Call Congress Day on February 15.  President Joseph A. Beaudoin asks each NARFE member to save the date of Wednesday, February 15, and share this step by step plan with all NARFE members via chapter newsletters and other communication channels.

Step 1: Call the Capitol using NARFE's toll-free number, 866-220-0044. Ask the operator to connect you to your representative's and/or senators' office.
 
 

Step 2: Tell the staff person who answers the telephone next where you live, so they know you are a constituent, then say:
 
 

"I am a retired/active federal employee and member of NARFE." [Tell the staff person a little about your work.]

"[Senator or Representative X] represents thousands of federal workers and retirees and their survivors. Any plan that pays for two-thirds of the payroll tax holiday by taking money out the pockets of fewer than 2 percent of America's middle class is unacceptable, unfair, and certainly isn't shared sacrifice."

"Federal workers, retirees and survivors have already done their part, saving the federal government $50 billion through a two-year pay freeze. Making $65 billion in further cuts to pay, earned health and retirement benefits, or making changes to cost-of-living adjustments, would unfairly single out those who protected our nation, including many now on a fixed income."

#######

OBTAINING THE HOTLINE: Thank you for using the Hotline.  This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on NARFE's website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to nearly 71,000 GEMS email addresses.  Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
***
NARFE President to Testify in Senate TOMORROW, Feb. 1

On Wednesday, February 1st, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin will testify at a Senate hearing on “Federal Retirement Processing: Ensuring Proper and Timely Payment.” The hearing, called by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-HI, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, will allow the subcommittee to obtain testimony and question John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management on the backlog at OPM. The hearing set to begin at 2:30 PM E.S.T. and conclude by 5 PM. A link to the webcast will be posted 15 minutes before the hearing starts on the home page of  the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs

http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/
and   http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/oversight-of-government-management/hearings/
federal-retirement-processing-ensuring-proper-and-timely-payments

***

NARFE Legislative Hotline - January 27, 2012

MESSAGE FROM NARFE PRESIDENT JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN

“NARFE's January 25 testimony on behalf of the Federal-Postal Coalition and our upcoming February 1 Senate testimony show NARFE's expertise is appreciated on Capitol Hill. Having shown our 'inside' game, professional advocacy, we must ramp up our 'outside' game, member advocacy. I urge each NARFE member to send our Protect America's Heartbeat message updated January 19th. Unless you are among the 4,912 NARFE members who have already done so, please use the link below to share our views with your representative and two senators.”

#######

1) TELL CONGRESS: DON'T TARGET FEDERAL WORKERS

If you have not already done so, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin urges you to use the link below to send NARFE's new (1/19/12) message to your congressional delegation. CLICK HERE or use http://capwiz.com/narfe/issues/alert/?alertid=60428501  You can edit the message if you like. 4,912 members have already acted. We urge you to join them now by CLICKING HERE!
 
 

#######

2)SENATE FLOOR MAY CONSIDER BILL WITH NARFE-OPPOSED FECA PROVISION

The Senate may take up controversial legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, S. 1789, as early as the week of January 30. This legislation includes a NARFE-opposed provision to drastically change the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin's letter to all senators argues for removing the FECA provision. Read the letter posted on the website, www.narfe.org. The gateway address to NARFE letters to Congress (please bookmark) is: http://www.narfe.org/departments/legislation/articles.cfm?ID=2653  The specific text is posted at: http://www.narfe.org/pdf/Opposing_S_1789.pdf

#######

3)  PROTECT AMERICA'S HEARTBEAT TOOLKIT UPDATED WITH EXTENDERS FACT SHEET

NARFE's Protect America's Heartbeat campaign now includes a fact sheet on the Payroll Tax Cut and Federal Workers. To read and use this tool CLICK HERE for http://www.narfe.org/pdf/NARFE_FactSheet_Extenders_FINAL_1_18_12.pdf

#######

4)NARFE TESTIFIES BEFORE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE

On January 25, David Snell, director of NARFE's Retirement Benefits Service Department, testified before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy.  For the full text of Snell's statement, click here.

http://www.narfe.org/pdf/FederalPostalCoalitionTestimonyforFederalRetiremen%20Hearing_12512.pdf
Archived video is available from the House Oversight Committee website

http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1566%3A1-25-2012-qretirement-readiness-strengthening-the-federal-pension-systemq&catid=15&Itemid=1

#######

5)  NARFE PRESIDENT TO TESTIFY ON FEDERAL RETIREMENT PROCESSING

On February 1, NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin will testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia. The subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-HI, is conducting a hearing titled “Federal Retirement Processing: Ensuring Proper and Timely Payments.” John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, is also scheduled to testify.

#######
OBTAINING THE HOTLINE: Thank you for using the Hotline.  This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 1-877-217-8234); posted on NARFE's website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Leaders; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS e-mail addresses.  Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
***
NARFE Legislative Hotline - January 20, 2012

MESSAGE FROM NARFE PRESIDENT JOSEPH A. BEAUDOIN

“NARFE's size and expertise are recognized by both Members of Congress and our coalition partners in the federal-postal community.  NARFE has earned this status because NARFE members are a dependable voice and are in constant contact with their Senators and Representatives.  Evidence of our respected position has come in the form of invitations to testify before House (1/25) and Senate (2/1) committees. To continue to earn this respect so critically important in the face of unfair attacks on the federal workforce, I urge each NARFE member to: 1) respond to our just-updated Protect America's Heartbeat campaign by sending a message to your congressional delegation, 2) mark February 15 on your calendar for NARFE's “Call Congress Day” and 3) use the week of February 20th Presidents Day congressional recess to meet your delegation face-to-face. Complete details are provided below.”

#######

1)TELL CONGRESS: DON'T TARGET FEDERAL WORKERS

Late last year, the House of Representatives passed legislation requiring federal workers to pay $65 billion of the cost of the payroll tax holiday extension. Now, this House-passed plan moves to a House and Senate conference committee to be considered again.

Asking just 2 percent of America's middle class to pay almost two-thirds of the cost of the payroll tax holiday for the rest of the country is unacceptable and unfair. Tell Congress today that you won't stand for this egregious plan. Let your representative now how unfair this is.

Tell Congress: Don't target federal workers and retirees to pay for two-thirds of the payroll tax cut holiday!  CLICK HERE to send NARFE's just updated Protect America's Heartbeat message to your congressional delegation - your representative and both senators
 
 

#######

2)NARFE CALL CONGRESS DAY IS WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 15

Here (again) is the step-by-step process for NARFE's Call Congress Day on February 15. President Joseph Beaudoin asks that Hotline users save the date of Wednesday, February 15 and share this step by step plan with all NARFE members via chapter newsletters and other communication channels.

Step 1: Call the Capitol using NARFE's toll free number, 1-866-220-0044. Ask the operator to connect you to your representative's and/or senators' office.
 
 

Step 2: Tell the staff person who answers the telephone next where you live so they know you are a constituent, then say:
 
 

"I am a retired/active federal employee and member of NARFE." [Tell the staff person a little about your work.]

"[Senator or Representative X] represents thousands of federal workers and retirees and their survivors. Any plan that pays for two-thirds of the payroll tax holiday by taking money out the pockets of fewer than 2% of America's middle class is unacceptable, unfair, and certainly isn't shared sacrifice."

"Federal workers, retirees, and survivors have already done their part, saving the federal government $50 billion through a 2-year pay freeze. Making $65 billion in further cuts to pay, earned health and retirement benefits, or making changes to cost-of-living adjustments, would unfairly single out those who protected our nation, including many now on a fixed income."

#######
3)  CONSUMER PRICES DECLINE SLIGHTY IN DECEMBER

December's Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, the CPI-W, is 222.166, a monthly decline of 0.3 percent. In the first 3 months of the measurement year, the CPI-W has declined 0.5 percent.  For persons covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act, the December 2011 CPI-W (222.166) is 3.2 percent higher than the December 2010 CPI-W (215.262). This means FECA beneficiaries will see a 3.2 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) effective March 1. January consumer price indices will be released on February 17.

#######
 Obtaining the Hotline:  Thank you for using the Hotline.  This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll free at 1-877-217-8234), posted on NARFE's website, www.narfe.org; made available to NARFE-Net Coordinators; and sent to over 70,000 GEMS e-mail addresses.  Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
***

***


GEMS

This message is generated by the NARFE Global Email Messaging System (GEMS). Please do not reply to this message. If you wish to reply to this message, please compose a new message to the sender. To stop receiving messages from National Headquarters, such as legislative Hotlines, press releases, retirement benefit news, and/or your local federation newsletters and information, please go to www.narfe.org, and update your record by selecting the type of messages you would like to receive.

Obtaining the Hotline:  Thank you for using the Hotline.  This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703/838-7780 and toll free at 1-877-217-8234), posted on NARFE's Internet site, www.narfe.org, made available to NARFE-Net Coordinators; and sent to over 54,000 GEMS e-mail addresses.  Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.










































 


 

Go Back To narfeky.org
 

Older GEMS
 

 Contact: narfe2005wk at gmail dot com

This page created by
Local Chapter 1373
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
Crittenden County