WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the President’s executive order providing a 2% pay adjustment in 2004 for federal employees:
“On the eve of the new year, I share the disappointment of Federal employees that the much-deserved 4.1% pay adjustment for 2004 has been delayed due to the Republican controlled Congress’ failure to complete the appropriations process before adjourning for the year. I am also disappointed that the president continues to insist that federal employees should receive half of what a bipartisan majority in Congress has approved as an appropriate pay raise for federal workers.
“I am hopeful that when Congress returns in late January, it will recognize the uncomfortable financial position of federal employees due to this delay and promptly authorize the 4.1% adjustment retroactive to January 1, 2004. Federal employees, who generally earn less than their counterparts in private industry, have a right to know what their paychecks will be so they can plan their household budgets.
“As the Administration prepares the 2005 federal budget, I call upon President Bush to put politics aside and support the principle of pay parity between military and civilian forces, which bipartisan majorities in Congress have long-supported.
“Much energy was spent this past year debating whether civilian employees and members of the armed forces should receive the same annual pay adjustment. No debate is needed. As Congress has acknowledged repeatedly, both play important roles in keeping our nation safe and secure and both should receive comparable and adequate pay adjustments in recognition of their hard work. I will be profoundly disappointed if the White House proposes, as it has in previous budgets, a lower pay adjustment for federal civilian employees than for the armed forces, and I will fight to implement the pay parity principle again in 2004 if necessary.”