Elimination of 2013 Pay Adjustmentby Representative Suzanne Bonamici
Posted on 2013-02-15
BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 273 because
it once forces middle class workers to bear the burden of Congress's
inability to come together and solve our fiscal woes.
This bill would result in a freeze on federal civilian employee pay for a third consecutive year by repealing the modest 0.5 percent increase scheduled to take effect next month. This miniscule raise would be their first since 2010, despite the fact that inflation has increased by 5.3 percent in that same time period.
These federal employees are hard-working people who deserve to be treated fairly for all they give in service to our constituents. They are the hotshot crews that fight our wildfires every summer. They are seismologists who will warn us about an approaching tsunami. They are the inspectors who ensure the safety of our food supply. They are the air traffic controllers who keep use safe when we fly. They are the VA doctors and nurses who treat our war veterans. And they are the officers who protect our borders, our airports, and our nuclear facilities.
At the same time, this bill asks nothing of the companies whose government contracts may award hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary per employee. And despite the protests of the bill's supporters, it does nothing to freeze pay for Members of Congress--that pay freeze, which I support, is already in effect.
This bill is just another political game that does nothing to meaningfully reduce spending or get our debt under control. I have said it before and I'll say it again: We've been governing by crisis for far too long. It's time to rally around common sense. It's time to take a seat at the bargaining table. This bill will not get us there, and it's time we all stop pretending that it will. I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing H.R. 273.