Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


Open Letter to Congress

Now that the Sequester -- the by-product of the Budget Control Act of 2011 -- has been invoked, I have sent an open letter to my Congressman (Cong. Doug Lamborn, CO-05) and Senators (Sen. Michael Bennet and Sen. Mark Udall) explaining the negative impact of their delayed implementation of such a drastic measure. While I do believe a 10% cut in discretionary spending accounts is a good idea, waiting until the waning months of a fiscal year to invoke it profoundly magnifies the consequences:

Dear Senator Bennet, Senator Udall, and Congressman Lamborn:

I am writing as a constituent, a federal employee, and a concerned citizen.

Our current state of Sequestration is a dangerous condition that risks derailing our tenuous economic recovery.

The delays in enforcing the Budget Control Act of 2011, while seemingly good in the short term, are compounding the effects on those who serve our nation as civilian employees.

Now that the Sequester has been invoked, my employer (the Missile Defense Agency at Schriever AFB) is planning 22 days of federal furloughs in the final few months of the fiscal year.

The only way to be compliant with the law as now written is one-day-per-week furloughs of civilian employees. In my case, that 20% reduction in duty hours translates to a 27% net loss in take-home pay (since health benefits and life insurance costs are constant).

I urge you and your fellow Senators and Representatives -- on BOTH sides of the aisle -- to consider the ripple effects of such a drastic cut in take-home pay for the tens of thousands of federal employees in Colorado.

Please work to resolve this issue on behalf of ALL of your constituents.

Sincerely yours,

Shane Deichman


At 6/3/13 07:48 , Anonymous TM Doyle said...

So, my man, what sort of response do you expect? Form letter? Email? Crickets? If you were one of a couple million citizens in CO, all those teaspoons of water might get someone wet. Oh, well. You have my undying respect for trying.

Doyle out.

At 6/3/13 09:14 , Blogger deichmans said...

Brother TD,

Actually, Sen Bennet was the first to reply -- and with a well-thought letter specifically addressing the issue of Sequestration:

Dear Shane:

Thank you for contacting me about the sequester. I appreciate hearing from you.

I share your concerns about the sequester and its potential effect on families throughout Colorado. The sequester cuts were designed to be so unappealing to both parties that it would force Congress to work together to develop a comprehensive debt reduction plan, which it failed to do. Unfortunately, the political dysfunction that is emblematic of Washington - a place I've taken to calling the 'Land of Flickering Lights' - has struck again. Now, Colorado families and our state's economy will suffer.

I remain committed to working with any Republican or Democrat on crafting a comprehensive deficit reduction plan along the lines of Simpson-Bowles that materially reduces the deficit, shows we're all in it together, and is bipartisan. It should include spending reductions, new revenue through tax reform, and changes to entitlement programs. I'm hopeful that the Congress will ultimately pass a replacement to the sequester along these lines.

I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.

For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at http://bennet.senate.gov/. Again, thank you for contacting me.


Michael F. Bennet
United States Senator


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