The Budget Control Act of 2011 imposed caps on federal spending and put in place Sequestration, or automatic cuts, that had a crippling effect on the government’s ability to deliver services. The modest relaxation of the caps for FY2016 and FY2017 has been insufficient to provide agencies the funding needed to accomplish their missions, yet some members of Congress want to go back to sequestration funding levels. That would be devastating. Some examples of the impact of inadequate agency funding include:
Since FY 2010, the IRS has absorbed $1.2 billion in cuts which has undermined its ability to enforce our nation’s tax laws and serve taxpayers efficiently. The funding reductions will have forced the IRS to reduce staffing by more than 17,000 employees by the end of 2016, including many frontline service and enforcement personnel. Without additional resources, the IRS has warned its ability to provide timely assistance to taxpayers, including victims of identity theft and other types of tax refund fraud, will be further hampered. In addition, a lack of sufficient funding would impede IRS’ ability to carry out its core enforcement activities designed to deter non‐compliance and detect and prevent fraud, and could undermine taxpayers’ confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of the tax system, and result in the loss of billions in foregone revenue.
Customs & Border Protection
Delays at the nation’s ports of entry result in real losses to the U.S. economy. For every 1,000 CBP Officers added, the U.S. can increase its gross domestic product by $2 billion, which equates to 3,300 new private sector jobs. Yet, staffing shortages continue at CBP, resulting in forced overtime and temporary duty assignments at the nation’s busiest ports. The most recent results of the CBP Workload Staffing Model shows a need for 2,107 additional CBP Officers and an additional 631 CBP Agriculture Specialists through FY 2017. Congress needs to provide CBP funding to eliminate these costly staffing shortages at the ports of entry.
Health & Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services faces insufficient funding in its work to aid those with mental health and substance abuse problems (SAMHSA), protect the purity of food and drugs (FDA), and administer critical programs for the elderly and children (ACF).
Wall Street Fraud
At the SEC and CFTC the lack of adequate resources is hampering the ability to protect American consumers and investors in an increasingly complex marketplace. Both agencies return more money to the American taxpayer in fines and penalties than their entire budget.
NTEU urges that Congress:
- Opposes efforts to reduce the spending caps currently in place
- Provides agencies with adequate funding for FY2017 to meet their missions
Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support the FDA and other federal agencies to better serve you.