Category Archives: Legislative – Federal Blog

Federal Legislative Blog

National Legislative Training and MD Federation’s Crusade to Capitol Hill:  March, 2017

The following photos were taken at the National Legislative Training and MD Federation’s Crusade to Capitol Hill in March, 2017.  The documents include a summary of events; agenda; and listing of FLC members assigned to MD Congressional Districts.

NARFE HQ Form re MD Federations' Crusade to Capitol Hill
MD Fed. Crusade to Cap. Hill 3-15-17 Agenda
MD Fed. Crusade to Cap. Hill 3-15-17 Delegates


Maryland Federation CDL List: 2017

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NARFE Maryland Federation CDL List 2017

Please send letters to your Congressional delegation from Numbers count!

The following is a response to an important letter that a number of members have sent to their congressional delegation. It encourages our law makers not to miss treat Federal employees and Retirees as well as seniors in general unfairly in the budget process. If you have not yet sent such a letter to your Congressman and two Senators, I would ask you to logon to and do so at your soonest convenience. Numbers do count!

“Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding our nation’s outstanding federal employees.  It’s great to hear from you on this important subject.

Federal employees are on the front lines every day, protecting our borders, taking care of our veterans, keeping our food safe, and developing life-saving technologies.  Federal employees should be thanked and recognized.  Instead, they’ve been the targets of unending attacks.

As Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am fighting hard for federal employees.  I think of Maryland’s federal employees every day.

First, I have been fighting for your safety and security following the OPM breach.  I have used the tools of the Appropriations Committee to fight for a stronger response from your government, and for the resources and reforms to prevent another breach from happening again.

My amendment providing federal employees impacted by the data breach with ten years of credit-monitoring and identity theft protection services as well as $5 million dollars in liability protection was adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee during consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Services Appropriations Bill (S. 1910) on July 23, 2015.  This bill was subsequently passed out of Committee.

In addition, my amendment to appropriate $37 million dollars for OPM cyber protection improvements will be considered by the full Senate when it takes up the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S. 754) later this fall.  This bill would improve the security of federal cyber systems and expand protections for federal employees affected by recent data breaches.

I also joined Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) in introducing the RECOVER Act (S. 1746).  This bill would provide federal employees who were compromised by the data breach lifetime identity protection and $5 million in identity theft insurance.

Second, I am working hard to give you and your families a raise.  I am a co-sponsor of the FAIR Act (S.164).  This bill would build on the 1% raise that I fought hard to secure in Fiscal Year 2015 by increasing salaries by 3.8% in 2016.  The FAIR Act is currently pending in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  I also protected President Obama’s right to propose the recent federal employee cost of living increase for fiscal year 2016 by making sure no provision was included in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Services Appropriations Bill to block a pay increase.  Most recently, I joined with Senator Cardin in introducing the Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2015 (S.2035).  This bill guarantees retroactive pay to any federal employee furloughed by a government shutdown.

Finally, I am fighting government cuts to your pay and benefits and working to get a bipartisan budget deal to prevent dangerous cuts to your agency’s mission.  Congress must lift the discretionary budget caps, end sequester, and provide parity between defense and non-defense spending.

Thanks again for contacting me.  You can count on me to continue fighting for our hard-working federal employees. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in the future.”

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

Senator Barbara Mikulski Announces Retirement – March 2, 2015

Sen. Barbara Mikulski Announces Retirement

2015 - Barbara Mikulski Photo

Do I spend my time raising money or do I spend my time raising hell?’ —Sen. Barbara Mikulski
By Greg Hambrick (Patch Staff) March 2, 2015 at 9:57am

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., announced Monday morning that she is retiring from the Senate, in a press conference in Fells Point.
“In 2016 my reelection would be on the horizon. I have thought long and hard about the next two years,” Mikulski said at the press conference, which WBAL streamed live.
“Who am I campaigning for? Am I campaigning for me or for my constituents?” Mikulski said, explaining her thought process leading up to 2016. “I had to decide how I would spend my time—fighting for my job or fighting for their job. Do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?”
Mikulski continued: “…it really became clear that I want to campaign for the people of Maryland. I want to make sure that they have a future, that they have a job. I’m here today in Fells Point to announce that I will not be seeking a sixth term in the U.S. Senate.”
The decision was not one that she made lightly, after a long career in politics, one that began on the Baltimore City Council in 1971. “This has been a hard decision to make,” Mikulski said. “I will have served over 30 years.”
Currently in her fifth term as a U.S. Senator, Mikulski is known as the “Dean” of the Senate women and helping forge bipartisan relationships for decades that often result in compromise.
For the remainder of her term, Mikulski said she plans to continue fighting for change. “I want to give 120 percent of my time focused on my constituents. Because it’s never been about me. It’s always been about them,” she said.
When a reporter asked if she had one particular accomplishment of which she was most proud, Mikulski said that it was not one piece of legislation, although she cited Rosa’s law, which removed the term “retarded” from the health and education code in Maryland, which she said originated out of a round table discussion in Anne Arundel County. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed Rosa’s law into federal statute requiring all health, labor and education laws to remove “retarded” and refer instead to people living with “intellectual disability.”
Mikulski also mentioned her work to support local firefighters with federal grant money, based on learning that a fire engine can cost $1 million.
“For me, it’s not any one accomplishment. It’s the joy of listening to the people, knowing what their needs are, responding to that need and trying to turn it into national policy,” Mikulski said.
Mikulski, 78, was the first woman to chair the powerful Appropriations Committee, according to The Washington Post.

NARFE National Headquarters Trains LCAT Leaders

NARFE National Headquarters Trains LCAT Leaders

LCAT Leaders Trained

 NARFE LCAT Leaders  Front Row L-R Dan McGrath, Maryland Federation President, Sarah Weismann, National Grassroots Program Manager, Dr. Sudha Haley, Federation Legislative Committee  (FLC) Chair, Jerry Kerner, FLC leader, Chuck Caloia, Chapter Leader, Back Row: L-R  Dr. Bruce Fowler, Chapter Leader, Chuck Thomas, FLC Leader, Dick Strombotne, MD Federation Treasurer, & Ed Bice SLC Chair (Missing in photo are: LCAT FLC leaders Bishop Dr. Gary Roundtree, Cel Aguigui, Kathy Siggins & Louise Woods and LCAT Chapter Leaders Minnedore Green and Retha Flack)

 The Maryland Federation Legislative Committee Advocacy Team (LCAT) Leaders collaborated with NARFE’s National Legislative Department’s Grassroots Program Manager, Sarah Weissmann, for their first training on December 8, 2014.  Half of the LCAT comprises of Maryland Federation’s Legislative Committee Representatives and the other half are Maryland Federation Chapter leaders.  During the training the LCAT leaders were joined by Maryland Federation Executive Board members and Chairs.

 NARFE National Headquarters views the LCAT leaders as Liaisons to Maryland Federation’s Chapters and to Maryland Congressional Lawmakers and their Offices.  During the training, National Grassroots Program Manager Sarah Weissmann provided a plethora of resources that she has made available for successful grassroots advocacy.   As Liaisons, LCAT Leaders will keep Maryland Federation members informed, and working through Chapter Legislative Officers, will be available to train members when appropriate.  As Congressional Liaisons, LCAT Leaders will be resources to Chapters, coordinate and participate in Congressional lawmakers’ meetings, and help Chapters continue to build relationships with our lawmakers.   NARFE Headquarters has in the past and will continue to collaborate with LCAT Leaders in community involvement, public events, and fundraisers.

 LCAT Leaders are preparing for the Maryland Federation’s Crusade to Capitol Hill on March 17, 2015.  From March 14-17, LCAT Leaders will participate in the NARFE National Legislative Training Conference, from where they will lead the Crusade to our Lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  LCAT Leaders will be calling on Chapter leaders to work together and join forces for our productive Maryland Federation’s Legislative Advocacy Crusade on March 17, 2015, and for the rest of the year.

 Sudha K. Haley, Ph.D.

NARFE Maryland Federation Legislative Committee Chair