Congressman Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and fellow members of the GOP penned a letter to multiple federal offices calling for their reopening.
The letter, announced July 16, was addressed to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja, and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Robin Carnahan.
The main concern of the letter was the continued closure of many federal offices since the inception of the pandemic in March of 2020. Garcia and associates claim that the continued closure of these offices, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), is negatively impacting the people of America and their livelihoods.
“We request that you consider the impact that continued closure of many Federal offices to the public has on millions of Americans, particularly elderly and low-income Americans who rely on the in-person services offered, particularly at Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices, across the country, and urge you to prioritize the reopening of Federal offices in the interests of all Americans, not just those of unions,” the lawmakers wrote.
Quoting the most recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and the widespread, easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the lawmakers state that there is no reason that federal employees should not return to work in haste.
“A top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to Federal office reopening plans is both unreasonable and unnecessary, especially as states and cities across the country – from California to New York to Washington, D.C. – lift pandemic-related closures, allowing for a return to normalcy,” the lawmakers wrote.
Lawmakers claim that the current system of online and telephone services provided by the SSA cannot produce the same quality and quantity of aid to struggling Americans as it could from in-person service, and encourage its immediate reopening.
“As California and most of the nation lifts pandemic-related closures, we need to also open federal offices back up. Federal employees have both a privilege and responsibility to serve the American people and that includes providing in-person services. The Biden admin needs to swiftly develop a plan to fully and safely return the federal workforce to in-person work so that American taxpayers have access to the services promised to them as taxpayers,” said Garcia
To read the full letter, click here.
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