Cong. French Hill, R-Little Rock, awarded his monthly Golden Fleece award to the unions that represent federal government employees.
The award highlights what the Second District Republican Congressman sees as government waste, fraud or abuse. Hill has previously awarded the Golden Fleece award to the Veterans Administration, the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Hill said that government employee unions cost “American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year.” His office clarified that Hill specifically had in mind the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which includes 670,000 federal workers.
“According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the federal government spent $157 million and 3.4 million man hours in fiscal year 2012 on union activities,” said Hill. “These activities can often be political in nature, and the biggest spender was the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Already plagued with scandal and mistreatment of our Nation’s heroes while refusing to hold its employees accountable, the VA directed over $46 million of its budget to union activity.”
“I know that many of our federal employees are dedicated public servants deserving of our gratitude, and I am committed to protecting their rights in the workplace, but we must also work to end the coercive influence of taxpayer-funded unions on our government,” Hill added.
Hill is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1658, the Federal Employee Accountability Act, which was introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) on March 26, 2015. If enacted, the measure would prohibit employees of the federal government from using official time to engage in collective bargaining, or participate in arbitration on behalf of a union against their employer.
Additionally, Hill co-sponsored H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act of 2015, which would increase flexibility in removing VA employees for performance or misconduct.