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Stephen L.
Democrat MA 8

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  • Congressional Pay Freeze and Fiscal Responsibility Act

    by Representative Stephen F. Lynch

    Posted on 2013-01-01

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    LYNCH. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this so-called ``Federal worker pay freeze.'' As the ranking member of the Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, we have witnessed a deliberate effort over the past 2 years of the Republican majority to undertake a series of legislative attacks on our middle-income Federal workers, and this bill is no different.

    Despite the title of this legislation, this bill would extend the current statutory pay freeze for all Federal civilian employees--the vast majority of whom are middle class earners--through 2013.

    In place of a balanced approach to deficit reduction based on a genuine commitment to shared sacrifice, this bill again seeks to target Federal employees who are already in their second year of a 2\1/2\-year pay freeze. Collectively, because of the pay freeze that's been in effect for the last couple of years, these same Federal workers have already contributed over $100 billion towards deficit reduction and continued unemployment benefits for other workers.

    I'd like to note that I am not opposed to a pay freeze for Members of Congress. I think we should lead by example. In fact, I have voted for pay freezes for congressional pay on six different occasions.

    {time} 1300 Regrettably, however, this legislation continues the concerning trend throughout the 112th Congress of attempting to address deficit reduction on the backs of middle-income workers in the Federal Government again by attacking their take-home pay. These are the dedicated folks who work at our VA hospitals; they protect our borders; they care for, again, our wounded veterans; they run the research facilities in researching cures for deadly disease, and they provide services to the Defense Department and the State Department. So these are the people that are doing the hard work, and this is not a way to repay them. Again, they are already in the second year of a 2\1/2\-year pay freeze.

    I agree that that pay freeze should apply to me and other Members of Congress; however, these hardworking fellow employees should not be asked to carry even more of this burden.

    I thank the gentleman for yielding.

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