Hoyer Statement on Working Conditions for AoC Employees

For Immediate Release:

March 29, 2006

Contact:Liz Packard
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement regarding a letter from employees of the Architect of the Capitol (AoC) about working conditions in the tunnels underneath the Capitol:

    “At a time when this Congress is grappling with the matter of compensating victims of asbestos exposure in a fair and compassionate manner, it is a scandal and outrage that employees in our own buildings have apparently been exposed to this toxic material.  That the AoC apparently knew of the problem for several years just compounds the problem and raises new questions about the leadership in that office.

    “This body needs to act, and fast.  I intend to find out exactly what the scope of the problem is and what resources are needed to protect workers and ensure no harm comes to them as a result of exposure.  If needed, I will offer legislation on this matter.

    “In the meantime, I commend AoC employees for bringing this crucial matter to the attention of my office, and Congress.  I am hopeful the Office of Compliance, which was created in 1995 to ensure Congressional employees are guaranteed a safe and healthy working environment, will continue to pursue this issue with maximum vigor and focus."

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