Hoyer: With Sequester Looming, Republicans Instead Target Federal Employees

For Immediate Release:

February 15, 2013

Contact:

Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in opposition to H.R. 273, which eliminates the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for federal employees. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video. 

“Mr. Speaker, there is not time to debate in the time I have available how we determine federal pay. I was a sponsor of the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act, which [President] George Bush signed back in 1990. I know a little bit about this. But America is confronting a sequestration that will have devastating impact on our economy, on every individual in America and on international confidence in America's ability to manage itself. And what have we spent two days on? A quarter percent cap on cost-of-living adjustment for federal employees. A quarter of a percent.

“Some of us in this body earn that in about 10 minutes. Not all of us, but some of us. Yet, we fiddle while America faces a sequester burn. And sequester is Republican policy. July 19, 2011, ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ was brought to this Floor. 98% of Republicans - 229 - voted for it. What was the fallback position? Sequester – an irrational policy that cuts across the board, irrespective of priority. And so what does the Majority in this Congress do? It has now wasted two [days] on debate of nickel-diming the people we rely on to protect our domestic safety, our international security, our food and drugs, our health care, our borders.

“I join in the remarks of my good friend, Frank Wolf. He and I have been here 32 years. We have some understanding of what is proper and not proper in terms of managing the government. Now, the sponsor of this legislation has been here approximately 45 days. Forty five days and he introduces a bill to cap by a quarter of a percent federal employees.

“The animosity directed at our federal employees is so great that we have now taken two [days] to try to diminish their pay and benefits. How sad. While the sequester looms 14 days from today, putting at risk, as I said, America's economy, the creation of American jobs, the sense of confidence in our country and the perception around the world that America is a serious country. How sad. How shameful. I yield back.”

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