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Darrell I.
Republican CA 49

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  • Elimination of 2013 Pay Adjustment

    by Representative Darrell E. Issa

    Posted on 2013-02-15

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    ISSA. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 66, I call up the bill (H.R. 273) to eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees, and ask for its immediate consideration.

    The Clerk read the title of the bill.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 66, the bill is considered read.

    The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 273 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. ELIMINATION OF 2013 PAY ADJUSTMENT.

    (a) In General.--Section 147 of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Public Law 111-242; 5 U.S.C. 5303 note), as amended by section 114(a) of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (Public Law 112-175; 126 Stat. 1316), is amended-- (1) in subsection (b)(1), by striking the matter after ``ending on'' and before ``shall be made'' and inserting ``December 31, 2013,''; and (2) in subsection (c), by striking the matter after ``ending on'' and before ``no senior executive'' and inserting ``December 31, 2013,''.

    (b) Elimination of Delayed Adjustment.--Section 114(b) of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 is repealed.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California (Mr. Issa) and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Cummings) each will control 30 minutes.

    The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.

    General Leave Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on H.R. 273 and to include extraneous material thereon.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California? There was no objection.

    Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    Good-paying, full-time jobs should not be limited to those fortunate enough to work for the Federal Government.

    At a time when hardworking American taxpayers are struggling to find work and keep their heads above water, the Federal Government offers its workforce sufficient and generous pay and job security. This is not to imply that they're overpaid. This is not to imply that they're overcompensated. That's a discussion for another day.

    But certainly, at a time in which the American people saw their household income drop by $4,000, that has not happened in the Federal workforce. Year after year, the Federal workforce has received step increases and other pay increases. And with the exception of a relatively limited pay freeze done under President Obama's executive order, they, in fact, have received consistent pay increases and their benefits have been maintained.

    At this time, we are faced with sequestration. Sequestration for our men and women in uniform means aircraft do not fly, ships do not get maintained, and, yes, furloughs may very well happen. To avoid furloughs, to avoid arbitrarily cutting the most junior individuals or stripping away our military's ability to protect us, it is a small price to pay to, consistent with the President's previous pay freeze, to hold pay increases of Federal employees for one more year.

    {time} 0940 It is my sincere hope that, working together, we will both resolve the budget shortfalls and get America working again over the next year. But at a time when most--a great many--of the average Federal workers make more than their private sector counterparts, when a great many make more than $100,000 a year, at a time in which Members of Congress, appropriately, have frozen their own pay year after year, it is a price that we have the authority--and we ask the Federal workforce to agree with us that in fact this is a year not to raise the pay of Federal workers. Last year, we spent $11 billion on non-merit pay increases for Federal workers. It's the right time to say no increases other than those specifically deemed by specific merits under statute are important.

    My colleagues on the other side of the aisle will not agree with this, I have no doubt. But let me say one thing. I know that Mr. Cummings and I do agree that we have to find viable alternatives to stripping away the capability of our military to maintain our safety. We have to find viable alternatives to cutting the important work on medicines and other lifesaving Federal programs that in fact our seniors and all of our citizens rely on. We could do this today, or we could cut the National Institutes of Health. We could do this today, or we could park two or three of our aircraft carriers and lay off the crews. I don't think the other side has any question that a viable alternative to those kinds of across-the-board cuts are clearly important.

    So I ask the minority to join with me today in realizing that this is not what we want to do. This is what we need to do if we're going to prevent arbitrary cuts that in fact will touch Americans, in many cases, in all the wrong ways.

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