Today, I was deeply disappointed that House Republicans brought several bills to the House Floor that target hardworking federal employees. I’m proud to represent more than 62,000 federal workers, and I strongly oppose efforts that single out our dedicated federal workforce. Instead of focusing on these anti-federal worker bills, the House should be working to replace the across-the-board spending cuts called sequestration and end furloughs for thousands of civil servants in Maryland and across the country.
On the House Floor, I told my colleagues:
“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.”
“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... 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.”
Our federal workforce enhances our nation’s wellbeing and security. Many of them are now being furloughed, which represents a 20% pay cut on top of the $114 billion federal employees have contributed toward deficit reduction though freezes to cost-of-living adjustments and changes to retirements benefits. Yet, House Republicans continue to target them. To continue to pursue legislation like the bills on the Floor today is unfair and unwise personnel policy – it is undermining our ability to recruit and retain the federal workforce our nation needs and deserves. I continue to urge my colleagues to replace the sequester, end furloughs, and abandon efforts to target federal workers. We ought to come together and recognize the critically important work that America’s civil service performs every day.
As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you, and please continue to share your concerns and insights with me by contacting my office or connecting with me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.