Congressional Pay Freeze and Fiscal Responsibility Actby Former Representative James P. Moran
Posted on 2013-01-01
MORAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank my very good friend who has been
tireless in representing not just the interests of his constituency but
of this great country.
Mr. Speaker, first of all, and it may seem petty, but if it were done by the other side, it would be a big deal. This bill was dropped at about 20 past 12 today and then it was brought up. Now, in less than an hour, we drop a bill and we bring it to the floor? That's not the way to do business. The caucuses are involved in other things. The whole Democratic Caucus is talking to the Vice President, and here we are about to do something of real consequence, not just for Federal employees and the Members of Congress, but for the country.
First of all, as my very good friends, Mr. Lynch and Mr. Connolly, have pointed out, Federal employees have contributed now over $100 billion toward deficit reduction. They have had their pay frozen for 2 years. This will be a third year. New hires are going to have to contribute four times as much into their pension as they would have to today. So they're really being made a scapegoat. And we're doing this at a time when we're trying to compete in a global economy.
Now, what happens is we send a message to Federal employees that if you can get out, get out. We don't really appreciate what you're doing for the public sector. Get into the private sector. Most of you can make two or three times what you're making in the public sector. So this is a good time to go, because otherwise your family is going to have to suffer and you're not going to be able to achieve the kind of quality of life that your talents, experience, and skills would merit, and we're going to continue doing this to you individually and collectively.
That's not the way to run a government. We pass all these laws, we pass appropriation bills, and then it's the executive branch's responsibility to carry them out. How do we think we can pass these laws and then expect people to carry these laws out with efficiency and effectiveness when we take $100 billion out of their compensation? What kind of a message does that send to the people who serve us directly and all of the American people's interests in terms of their ultimate mission? It sends all the wrong message.
Now, I know people don't care much about the procedural issue, but, boy, what a precedent to set.