For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Voutsinos

AFSCME's Saunders: Government funding bill brings long-overdue benefits and protections for working people, ‘but there is more work to be done’

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement after Congress passed the fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill: 
“Unlike in administrations past, working people won’t have to enter the holidays with anxiety over a government shutdown. This government funding bill prevents that. It will ensure that the public services our communities depend on keep running for another year, while saving thousands from dangerous furloughs and preventing so many others from losing access to the benefits they rely on.  
“But make no mistake: This bill does more than simply keep government doors open. It will provide a $25 million increase in funding for the NLRB, so the essential regulatory body is staffed and ready to combat unfair labor practices against workers. Working families will receive further protections thanks to this bill – the inclusion of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will ensure no one is forced out of their job just because they are pregnant. 
“The spending bill also comes with the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, which will bolster the defenses of our democracy and stop anti-democratic threats from undermining our election results. What’s more, this bill provides long-awaited funding for Medicaid in Puerto Rico – a $17.6 billion investment that will save lives. AFSCME members in Puerto Rico spent years fighting for this crucial funding. And the first responders who risked their lives during 9/11 – many of whom are AFSCME members – will also receive investments in their health care. The spending bill adds $1 billion in critical funding for the World Trade Center Health Program.
“This spending bill provides some long-overdue protections and benefits for working people. But there is more work to be done. AFSCME won’t stop until all working families have the resources to live and work with dignity.”