What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : H.R. 2989. Fiscal 2004 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations/Vote to Eliminate Funding for Studies into Privatizing 425,000 Federal Jobs. (2003 house Roll Call 486)
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H.R. 2989. Fiscal 2004 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations/Vote to Eliminate Funding for Studies into Privatizing 425,000 Federal Jobs.
house Roll Call 486     Sep 09, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

In 2001, shortly after the Bush Administration assumed office, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed all federal agencies to identify 425,000 federal jobs that could be privatized. In the view of Conservatives, many jobs in the federal government can be conducted by the private sector. The impetus behind OMB's directive was to reduce the size of government and improve its efficiency. During debate on the 2004 Transportation and Treasury appropriations bill, Representative Hastings (D-FL) offered an amendment which would have prevented any funds in the underlying appropriations bill from being used to require federal agencies to make inventories of federal jobs that could be conducted by private companies. Progressives supported the Hastings amendment. In their view, privatizing federal jobs could undermine the performance of government. Private firms, they argued, must turn a profit to survive and therefore have incentives to institute shortcuts in the performance of governmental duties at the expense of U.S. citizens. Many federal jobs, Progressives pointed out, were created in large part because the private sector was unable to adequately perform those duties (such as road-building, protecting consumers, and regulating environmental polluters). On a close vote of 205-211, the Hastings amendment was struck down and the funding for agencies to identify federal jobs that could be privatized remained in the underlying appropriations bill.

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