Hoyer: Federal Employees Deserve Our Respect

For Immediate Release:

July 31, 2013

Contact:

Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in opposition to several bills on the House Floor that target federal employees. Below are excerpts and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

“This Congress has been the worst Congress for federal employees in which I served. The Gentleman who spoke before me said he ran a business. If you treated your employees as we're treating our employees, they would have all quit.”

“But that does not explain the torrent of anti-government worker [legislation] that we have seen from this Congress, and frankly, to some degree, from the last Congress. Now, they can't strike, and because they have to support their families, they can't walk out. They don't have many tools. They have us, of course, who represent many of them, to stand up for their rights, but, much more importantly, for respect from their employer, which they're not getting.”

“I would ask my friend – he can come with me, I was down at Pax River, a big naval base – about the 20% cut we've asked people to pay [as a result of sequestration]. They perceive, because of our dysfunction, because we can't get our job done here, not because of anything they did wrong, not because of lack of performance – and I will tell my friend, Mr. Kelly, that an awful lot of my folks are saying, we want to be at work. We've got guys at the point of the spear relying on us, and we're not able to work on Fridays, but they're still fighting on Fridays. They're still at risk on Fridays.”

“Do we need oversight? Of course. Do we need honesty in performance of public duties? Absolutely. But we also need respect and consideration shown for those who work for America. The best civil service in the world. The most competent, best educated civil service in the world – and we treat them as second-rate citizens. We ought not to do that."

“We ought to reject this bill, certainly the Jenkins bill, and a number of others of these bills. Let us think of our federal employees. Because if we don't, we won't have the kind of government that America deserves and wants, and I yield back the balance of my time.”

###