Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced a bill this week that would require two weeks of furlough in 2011 for federal civilian employees. The furloughs would save taxpayers $5.5 billion, according to a release about the bill.
"[Furloughs] provide slight problems but they provide large solutions to the budget trouble we face," Coffman said.
Coffman's bill, H.R.6134 would make two weeks of unpaid non-consecutive furlough days mandatory, reduce appropriations for salaries and expenses for legislative branch offices, and provide a 10 percent reduction in pay for members of Congress. There are exceptions for national security or reasons related to public health or safety.
In his introduction to the bill, Coffman pointed out that at least 24 states have instituted short-term furloughs, mentioning that Furlough Fridays are happening at the state and local levels.
"I would like to make the U.S. Government as cost conscious as the states," Coffman said. "My legislation is a start."
P.S. Ron Rizzo, a friend and political activist in Colorado notes that Coffman's bill is getting no play whatsoever in the media there. Same thing in the national press. As Ron says, "This is a major statement. America would learn first hand the expense of this bureaucracy."
It certainly deserves passing along...like to your Congressperson asking him or her to co-sponsor the bill ASAP. Just use this page to get the e-mail address of your respective politicians and then use the little envelope icon at the bottom of this post to send it to them.
C'mon -- it's quick, painless but an oh-so-valuable act of citizen advocacy.