National Federation of Federal Employees president William Dougan said in a statement Wednesday that the proposals, which Corker has shared with Congressional leaders and the White House, do not represent serious solutions for avoiding the fiscal cliff. He criticized the plan for “relying heavily on federal workforce cuts.”
“The path to a sustainable fiscal course can’t be found inside the federal employee wallet,” Dougan said.
Corker’s plan called for the federal workforce to bear about 8 percent of $4.5 trillion in deficit reduction measures. Another 14 percent would come from trimming Medicare spending, while an estimated 17 percent would result from capping itemized tax deductions at $50,000.
Corker proposed changes for entitlements that would include means-testing for Social Security and Medicare, increasing the age to qualify for those programs and raising premiums for seniors earning more than $50,000 per year during retirement.
The senator’s office provided this outline of the deficit-reduction plan:Corker's plan for deficit reduction
Dougan described Corker’s proposals for capping tax deductions and means-testing for entitlements “promising provisions.” But the union leader said the plan would force federal workers to pay more for healthcare and retirement “all on a smaller paycheck — that is, if they still have a job.”
Corker touted his proposals in a Sunday Washington Post editorial, saying “While I know this bill can be improved, it shows clearly that we can do what is necessary, today, with relatively simple legislation.”
The senator also encouraged his fellow lawmakers to avoid settling for short-term solutions. He said that a “‘small’ deal will leave us facing another cliff, selecting down the line from the same menu of policy options before us today.”
Corker is among the GOP lawmakers who have signed a Grover Noquist-designed pledge to oppose all tax hikes, but the senator on Monday joined small group of Republican leaders who have backed away from that promise.
“I’m not obligated on the pledge,” Corker said during an interview on CBS. “I made Tennesseans aware, I was just elected, the only thing I’m honoring is the oath I take when I serve, when I’m sworn in this January.”