Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke in support of federal employees at the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) rally today. Below are excerpts from his remarks:
“It is a cold day in Washington and you are here to turn up the heat. Because it’s not enough, it’s too much – a $138 billion federal employees contributed to bringing down the deficit. We need to bring down the deficit, but not on the backs of our federal workers who are making America better every day.”
“So it’s a cold day, but we’re turning up the heat. I want to thank you for giving the privilege to turn up the heat on the Floor of the House of Representatives. And I try to raise your voice in saying: ‘We’re prepared to help. We’re not prepared to be the only people that help however. And when the private sector pay is going up we ought to get consideration.’ Private pay has gone up 6.5 percent over the last few years; your pay has gone up 1 percent. That means you’re losing ground … We don’t want more than the private sector, we want to be competitive. Individually we want to be competitive and we want our federal service to be competitive. That’s what this is about. And we want to make sure that the retirement benefits that we have, we can rely on those benefits. We want to make sure that when we take a job that we’re going to have a job if we continue to do the work and the work is needed.
“Thank you very much for all you do, keep on doing it, keep raising your voice, keep organizing, keep paying up, showing up and acting up. And if you do that, we’ll hear it. …this is a bipartisan issue because America’s government is a bipartisan, non-partisan, independent, all-Americans are interested in the welfare of their government, in the performance of their government, in the morale of their government, and therefore we’re all in this together. You keep on keeping on, thank you all very, very much.”