A picture of Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 273, Elimination of 2013 Pay Adjustment, and for Other Purposes

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2013-02-14

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    JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.) Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank my dear friend from Florida for the leadership on the issue, the number of Members who have already spoken, and my good [[Page H525]] friend on the Rules Committee who is the manager of this particular rule and, in essence, bringing this bill to the floor of the House, and that is what you hear the discourse about. Many times this discourse, this debate becomes confusing because we are trying to compare apples and oranges. And so let me first own up to the fact that a congressional pay freeze is already in place. Our salaries have been frozen. When it expires, we'll rise to the occasion and freeze it again. We're elected by the people, and those decisions can be made on behalf of the people.

    We're not talking about congressional salaries today. They're in place. They exist. What we're talking about is the ICE officer that I'm meeting with in the Rayburn Room who works everyday to protect this country and has seen that, because of the $103 billion that Federal employees have already given to reduce the deficit, necessities of work are being challenged. Customs and Border Protection, DEA officers, FBI, Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control physicians, research at NIH and those scientists, all of those persons are working for the greater good--those who had to address the West Nile virus, FEMA employees who are right now on the ground with Hurricane Sandy. I have no question that there are private sector employees that are addressing this question, but they've gotten a 4.7 percent raise.

    Let me tell you what the issue is. Let's stop fooling around and address the question of sequester. Protect those who need a social safety net and Social Security and Medicare. Realize that if you dice and cut and slash under the sequester, that will be the issue. None of these amendments were allowed in.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

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