WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released a statement today in response to a release put out by Minority Leader John Boehner that criticized a Hoyer proposal to promote conservation by encouraging federal agencies to implement existing policies to compress the 40-hour work week into four days:
“Just like Senator McCain doesn’t know how many houses he owns, Mr. Boehner doesn’t seem to know what he has proposed for energy policy. In a statement released today, he criticizes a proposal for increasing conservation by more effectively implementing existing policy allowing a flexible 40-hour work week among federal employees, while at the same time saying that promoting conservation is a cornerstone of the House Republicans’ energy proposal.
“In addition, in an eagerness to score points rather than solve problems, Mr. Boehner failed to realize his key assertion, that federal employees would work less, is completely, factually wrong. Federal employees would not work less under a flexible work schedule, they would continue to work 40-hours per week, and this policy is already being implemented in a limited fashion by a Republican Administration. Furthermore, states around the country, including Republican-dominated states such as Utah, are implementing similar policies.*
“Americans know that we need a comprehensive energy strategy. Either Republicans are only paying lip service to the important task of solving our nation’s energy crisis or Mr. Boehner should stop criticizing and start working with Democrats to enact a variety of policies, from increasing domestic drilling to promoting conservation among all Americans, including federal employees.”
*Note: Utah is the first to adopt a one-year mandatory compressed four-day/ten-hour work week for state employees. The program involves 80% of the state workforce. The state estimates it will cut energy costs by 20%.