U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright spoke out against the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-76 program yesterday. The program, which has been in existence since 1966, reviewed whether government jobs should be handled by either public or private workers. An independent review found that the process was biased against government workers, causing the federal government to outsource jobs unnecessarily costing taxpayers' money and leading to layoffs. As a result, the program's implementation was suspended by the Pentagon. An amendment was offered to the FY2014 defense authorization bill yesterday by Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-02) to arbitrarily re-start the program.
"The Circular A-76 process in the form proposed in the Rep. Rigell's amendment could have been devastating to Tobyhanna and all federal employees," said Cartwright. "Tobyhanna Army Depot is not only Northeastern Pennsylvania's largest employer, but it is also essential to keeping our warfighters safe. The hardworking federal employees that work across the country have been used as federal budget-related political pawns too often, and adoption of this amendment would have been further mistreatment."
The Department of Defense has been directed by legislation to review the process to make it fair. However, they have yet to complete this review. Requiring the Department of Defense to re-engage in this process without the necessary corrections could have led to the outsourcing of jobs at Tobyhanna Army Depot that would have increased overhead and made Tobyhanna's business model unsustainable.
Cartwright took this message to the house floor yesterday urging his colleagues to defeat the proposed amendment.
"I made a strong effort to find my colleagues from across Pennsylvania and make them aware of the amendment's potential impact of not only Tobyhanna but all federal workers in Pennsylvania. After that effort, the amendment was defeated, and I am proud that twelve of my colleagues from Pennsylvania helped defeat it," said Cartwright.
Cartwright was sworn in on January 3rd and represents the Tobyhanna Army Depot.