WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on the conference report filed today, which targets federal workers by increasing the retirement contributions made by new workers:
“I am very disappointed that the proposed UI extension will be paid for by increasing the retirement contributions made by new federal workers. When we work to protect the middle class, it is only right to protect them all, and federal workers are hardworking Americans who have already contributed $60 billion to deficit reduction over the next decade. Our deficit problems were not created by these men and women, and they will not be solved by only asking them to contribute. If we are going to address our deficit in a big, bold and balanced way, we must look beyond just federal workers and ask others to share in the contributions our deficit problems demand.
“I supported an alternative that I believe was fairer. By accepting the President’s proposal to adjust federal civilian salaries in 2013, allowing for only a 0.5% increase that is well below what is provided for under current law, we would have saved the same amount of money as the pension proposal while also supporting workers who make significant contributions to help our country both domestically and abroad. How we treat them ought to reflect how much we appreciate their service to our nation and all of its people. This proposal does not send that message.
“The ongoing efforts to target federal workers will substantially undermine our ability to recruit and retain the quality of people we need to carry out duties to keep our country safe, efficient, and equipped to compete in our increasingly competitive world.
“This proposal is an unacceptable solution. We must stop targeting these hardworking men and women while not asking others to contribute their fair share. For that reason, I cannot support this bill.”