January 19, 2022
The Honorable Congressman Gerry Connolly
2238 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Senator Brian Schatz
722 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
RE: Professional Managers Association Endorsement of Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act
Dear Congressman Connolly and Senator Schatz:
On behalf of the Professional Managers Association – the non-profit professional association that has, since 1981, represented professional managers, management officials, and non-bargaining unit employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – I write to relay our strong endorsement of the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act.
Time and time again, Congress is far too silent on federal employee pay. Despite the federal workforce’s unwavering support and dedication for the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has deferred to the President on a pay raise for federal employees rather than supporting federal employees directly. While PMA appreciates that the President chose to provide a 2.7 percent pay increase for federal employees for FY 2022, we have long maintained that silent deferral from Congress is insufficient to provide millions of federal employees with the security and comfort they have earned. Additionally, the legislature’s trend toward deferring to the President on the public sector pay abdicates Congress’s essential power of the purse.
We strongly believe a pay increase must be independently codified into law. This is the only way to provide federal employees the certainty and support they deserve from their elected representatives.
In a time of record inflation, this increase also assists the federal government in remaining competitive in the battle for qualified talent. The National Taxpayer Advocate recently highlighted the dire state of IRS recruitment and hiring as one of the “Most Serious Problems” impeding effective tax administration. A decade of spending cuts has severely depleted the IRS workforce and limited the Service’s capacity. While the IRS has taken significant steps to improve recruitment, competitive pay is one of the most valuable tools the IRS can employ to attract top talent.
In providing a 4.1 percent pay increase and 1.0 percent locality pay adjustment, the FAIR Act appropriately acknowledges the vital role federal employees have played throughout the pandemic. Over the last two years, federal employees have worked in extremely atypical conditions to provide unprecedented relief to the American people.
At the IRS, employees have been administering an extended 2021 filing season while grappling with retroactive tax law changes, expanding credits, delivering nearly a half billion economic impact payments, and continuing to manage dozens of complications impacting both the 2021 and 2020 tax filing season. All of this has been done while the IRS deals with uniquely high levels of telework, recruitment challenges, and legacy IT systems. As the 2022 filing season rapidly approaches, these challenges will continue to impact taxpayers until the IRS has the funding, resources, and support it needs to improve taxpayer services. A codified pay raise is a critical step in improving this dire situation at the IRS.
The FAIR Act recognizes the reality that, as inflation and consumer costs continue to increase, our public sector must do more to compete with the private sector for talent. Thank you for your leadership in supporting and acknowledging the dedication of our federal workforce. Please contact PMA Washington Representative Natalia Castro (firstname.lastname@example.org) if we can be of further assistance in getting this important bill passed.
Professional Managers Association