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Robert B.
Democrat PA 1

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  • Providing for the Expenses of Certain Committees of the House of Representatives in the 113Th Congress

    by Representative Robert A. Brady

    Posted on 2013-03-19

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    BRADY of Pennsylvania. I thank the gentleman for yielding and for his work on the committee. I am pleased he is managing this bill today. It's good for the next generation of Members to learn the procedures of the floor this way--putting them right in the line of fire.

    I would also like to thank the chairman for how she handled our marathon hearings. I've had her job and know how difficult it is to be juggling the schedules of all our fellow Members and of our fellow chairmen and ranking members.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise, though, in opposition to this resolution. We have cut committee funding for the last 3 years. We are past the point of cutting what we want, and we are now into cutting what we need--our ability to attract and retain expert staff.

    I asked the same question to every ranking member and every chairman who came in front of us. I asked them, if they're into cutting their personnel, whether or not they've thought in their own minds if it would hurt them in the jobs that they could do and in the jobs they do for the American people on those committees. Every man and woman said it would be an issue for them, that they would have a problem. Again, we cut in 2012 and gave people positions at lower salaries. These people, without question, make double, triple, four times the amount of money they can in the public sector. They're dedicated--they're dedicated people--but sometimes dedication doesn't pay the bills that they do acquire and that they do have.

    Their main concern was keeping people on their staffs who had institutional knowledge, people who had the knowledge of how this House works. As you all know, when you first get here, it can be a quagmire-- you don't understand what's happening; it moves too fast--but these men and women who are here for many years, they do know that, and they keep this train running. To hurt them and not be able to retain them would be a major, major disservice with just the institutional knowledge that they have.

    Again, I get it. I understand the cutting. I understand we've got to cut some other people, but if we cut these staff members--the people who have been here--and try to attract other people who can do the jobs that our committee staffs do, I think that it would be hurting the American people.

    We need to defeat this resolution and give the committees the appropriate resources that they need to do their basic work and to do what the people sent us here to do.

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