The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), a union representing 100,000 federal government workers nationwide, has endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President.
Late yesterday afternoon, NFFE's Executive Council voted unanimously to endorse Obama, after months of maintaining a neutral stance in the 2008 campaign.
"There is simply too much at stake in this election for federal workers to stay on the sidelines," said Richard N. Brown, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees. "In the face of a rapidly eroding economy and a Republican candidate with a professed lack of support for federal employees, we are ready and eager to fight for positive change in the White House."
Brown went on to state that the union endorsed Obama due to his "profound respect for civil servants and the vital role they play in making our government work for America every day."
With another close election coming in November, the timing of the endorsement could help Obama, especially is the endorsement evokes similar reactions from other unions representing the 2.7 million federal employees. As McCain favors smaller government and privatization, some federal employees could lose their jobs to a McCain-Palin ticket. When asked how much of the federal government should be open to outsourcing, McCain once replied, "All of them. All of them should be subject to it, and we should outsource as much as we can within reason."
But it is important to note that even if federal jobs are outsourced to contractors, new jobs will be added to the federal fray. The maverick from Arizona seeks to expand the size of the Army and Marines after witnessing these forces strained to perform their missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
"My priorities are to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps.
I’m not as worried about the Navy and the Air Force. I’m worried about
numbers of ships. When you can’t afford ships, we’re not going to build
ships. So I’m worried about that, but the Army and the Marine Corps are
right now bearing the brunt of the conflicts that we’re in, Afghanistan
and Iraq," McCain told Army Times.
On the other hand, Obama promised in his acceptance speech for the democratic presidential nomination that he would, if president, comb through the federal budget line by line and eliminate the programs that don't work. That could also spell job trouble for federal employees working in agencies with a record of poor performance, duplicative missions, or goals not aligned with Obama's. But at the end of the day, the Senator from Illinois has not promised to outsource the federal workforce as McCain has, and has consistently called for a revitalization in public service. This would include "making government cool again," increasing the size of AmeriCorp and the Peace Corp, and keeping other social programs funded. For those reasons, he has secured the endorsement from NFFE.
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