WASHINGTON, DC - Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding President Obama's proposed two-year Federal employee pay freeze:
“Millions of Americans are out of work, and many are tightening their belts; Federal employees must be no different. While I appreciate that the President reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years, it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between Federal civilian and military personnel--with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way. It would have also added an element of fairness: there has been parity between civilian and military pay raises for 22 of the past 28 years in which raises were authorized, and hundreds of thousands of Federal civilian employees work alongside military employees in the Department of Defense and other agencies. In fact, the first American casualty in Afghanistan was a CIA agent--a federal civilian employee.
“In the coming days, I will review closely President Obama's proposal for its balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to recruit and retain a Federal workforce able to provide the level of service that the American people expect. Because meaningful deficit reduction cannot be achieved through a piecemeal approach to trimming federal spending, I am hopeful that the administration will propose a comprehensive and serious program for deficit reduction that recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach, as has been proposed by the President’s Fiscal Commission, as well as outside groups like the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Rivlin-Domenici Debt Reduction Task Force."