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May 6, 2014

Tester: Sequestration, shutdown set back federal government

(U.S. SENATE) - Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce, today called for new initiatives to strengthen the federal workforce and an end to political gamesmanship that damages workers' efficiency and morale.

"For some folks, sequestration and the shutdown were about scoring political points," Tester said. "But for federal workers, sequestration and the shutdown kept them from getting to work and threatened their livelihoods. Federal workers didn't cause our budget problems, and they shouldn't be scapegoats."

Tester made his remarks at a hearing of his Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce.

Representatives from government agencies, including Office of Personnel Management, and from federal workers' unions, testified at today's hearing.

"Sequestration has made it much more difficult for the federal workforce to do its job and complete its missions," said Colleen Kelley, President of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). "If you want an efficient and effective government, don't starve it to death."

Tester pressed the panelists on plans to improve hiring practices so the government can better compete for skilled workers, mitigate the effects of the pending wave of retirements and adopt innovative ways of retaining and developing new leaders.

At today's hearing, Tester worked to give a face to federal workers affected by sequestration and the shutdown. In his remarks, he noted that federal workers are VA nurses, Farm Service Agency officers and others that Americans deal with on a regular basis.

Video from Tester's hearing, which was also attended by the panel's Ranking Member Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is available online HERE.

 

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Glendive

122 W Towne
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 365-2391
Fax: (406) 365-8836

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

14 Third Street E, Suite 230
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front Street
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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