I am proud to represent the tens of thousands of federal employees and retirees who live in Virginia's First District. These hardworking patriots serve our nation on a daily basis, whether it be keeping our skies safe for travelers with the FAA or supporting our troops on the front lines of the war on terror with the CIA. The federal workforce is full of dedicated and committed citizens who exemplify patriotism in everything they do. I believe it is important to support legislative measures that adequately address the specific needs of our hard-working federal employees and retirees. I do not believe that current retirees should see any changes to the retirement benefits that they have earned.
Federal government employees are increasingly being singled out during deficit reduction efforts, despite the fact that they have been under a pay freeze since January 1, 2011. Congress charges these individuals with important duties and expects these duties to be performed with the highest caliber of expertise – but rather than being recognized for their service, these public servants see their salary and benefits continually used as a pawn in the game of politics. I have opposed these efforts because I believe that as we continue to ask our federal civilian workforce to do more with less, we should be standing with them during these challenging times.
Statements in the Congressional Record on Behalf of Federal Employees
May 7, 2015: "As we celebrate Public Service Recognition Week, which started on Sunday, May 4, and ends on Saturday, May 10, I want to express my utmost gratitude to the country’s federal employees as well as our dedicated state, county and local public servants for their tireless service..." Click here to view the full statement.
May 6, 2014: "In every community across America, federal employees work to make sure the government is effective and keep us safe; their daily contributions to their fellow citizens and to the cause of freedom are simply innumerable. And in America’s First District, there are many hardworking and dedicated patriots who serve the people of this nation every day.…" Click here to view the full statement.
April 28, 2014: "...It is disappointing that this proposal, just as in past budget proposals, unfairly targets only one group of Americans for additional sacrifices: the civilian federal workforce. I have serious concerns…" Click here to view the full statement.
January 4, 2013: "I also want to make absolutely clear my opposition to any efforts to unfairly target our civilian federal workforce for deficit reduction purposes. America's First District is full of hardworking and dedicated citizens who serve the people of this nation every day, such as on the front lines of the War on Terror or in support roles for our military. Still others provide valuable service at places like VA hospitals, cancer research laboratories, and the FBI. And yet since 2010, federal civilian employees have seen their pay frozen and their benefits reduced on multiple occasions. I voted against the initial two-year pay freeze in December of 2010, and on the first day of 2013, I voted against H.R. 6726, which would have extended this pay freeze for an additional year. I am fully ready and willing to cut my own salary, benefits, and office budget, but we must stop singling out federal employees simply because Congress fails to address the out-of-control spending…" Click here to view the full statement.
February 7, 2012: "There is no question that changing the unsustainable trajectory of this nation will take sacrifice from us all, but continually singling out federal employees is an ineffective and unjustified response to the nation's fiscal struggles." Click here to view the full statement.
Voted against legislation proposing to freeze the pay of federal employees (H.R. 273).
Sent a letter in April of 2013 to the Secretary of Defense, expressing the need for immediate action to avert furloughs to the Defense Department's civilian workforce.
Sent a letter in April of 2013 to the Secretary of Defense, urging him to ensure that service branch chiefs not be required to institute furloughs, in addition to reminding him of the important role that our DoD civilians play in the overall readiness of our military.
Cosponsored H.R. 1332 - Social Security Fairness Act. This legislation would have repealed both the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which adversely affect the spouses of workers who held jobs that were not covered by Social Security. I believe that the GPO is inherently unfair to the spouses of federal employees.
Cosponsored H.R. 3028, the Federal Employees Leave Transfer Act, which would have allowed federal employees to transfer unused sick leave and contribute such leave to agency leave banks for the use of other employees, on the same basis as is allowed for annual leave.
Sent a letter in December of 2012 to congressional leadership and President Barack Obama reminding them of the sacrifices that our federal workers have made in recent years and urging them not to attempt to solve our nation's fiscal problems on the backs of these dedicated patriots.
Opposed H.R. 6726 (January 1, 2013), which would have put in place a one-year pay freeze for federal employees.
Cosponsored H.R. 958 - This legislation required the total service of an employee, including unused sick days, to be computed for an annuity under the federal employees retirement system (FERS). H.R. 958 was later included in the FY2010 Department of Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 2647) which passed the House and was signed into law by the president on October 28, 2009. H.R. 2647 also included language to allow returning FERS employees to repay a deposit to the civil service trust fund, with interest, in order to be able to combine their past and new federal service for future annuity credit purposes and allow civil service retirement system (CSRS) workers to phase-down to part-time status at the end of their careers without reducing their final annuities.
Opposed an amendment to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 (H.R. 1) that would have cut step increases for federal employees. This amendment failed. The amendment proposed to take away the personnel flexibility commonplace in the private sector to offer performance-based increases, which are incentives to recruit and retain the best and brightest in federal service. I believe that flexibility is a vital part of the federal workforce.
Opposed two-year federal civilian employee pay freeze passed in December of 2010.
Congressional Public Service Caucus
I joined Congressmen Frank Wolf of Virginia and John Sarbanes of Maryland in forming the Congressional Public Service Caucus. This is a bipartisan caucus for members of the House and Senate committed to building public and congressional support for a well-trained, high-performing federal workforce. The caucus will advance policies that will help the government attract and retain talented Americans. I look forward to working with my fellow Caucus members to ensure that lawmakers have the information they need to develop sound policy on federal workforce issues.