Ross Supports Bipartisan Idea to Freeze Federal Pay
Feb 15 -
Click here to watch his speech
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15) voted in support of H.R. 273, which will eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees. Ross spoke on the floor in support of this bill. His remarks are below:
“Mr. Speaker, at a time when our country is more than $16 trillion in debt, I rise today in support of H.R. 273, and in support of my colleague from Florida’s effort to hold the federal government more accountable to taxpayers.
“As a former chair of the Oversight and Government Reform’s subcommittee on the federal workforce, I held hearings about the discrepancies in compensation and benefits between federal employees and private sector employees.
“And it’s interesting to see what we found out.
“For example, the Congressional Budget Office found that the total compensation for Federal Employees was 16 percent greater than that for the private sector employees.
“The CBO has also reported that federal employee benefits were 48 percent more costly than the private sector employee’s benefits.
“As a former small business owner, I’m shocked to learn how serious these discrepancies truly are.
“In the private sector, I’ve had the responsibility to make a payroll, balance my budget, and reduce spending during difficult economic times.
“At a time when our children and grandchildren are funding the federal government with a credit card, Members of Congress have the responsibility to make the tough choices and reduce spending. That is why during my time as chairman, I oversaw two years of federal pay freezes.
“However, these federal pay freezes were not just my idea. In fact, it was a bipartisan idea.
“The president, in his Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, ended a three-year pay freeze for federal employees. As a proponent of aspects of the Simpson-Bowles plan, I am happy that the House will be following through today on this recommendation.
“Our talented federal workforce performs exceptional duties critical to the day-to-day operation and functioning to our government. However, the government must also examine almost every area of its budget during these difficult economic times in order to become more accountable to taxpayers.
“And just so we’re clear: this legislation also freezes pay for Members of Congress - that’s right - Members of Congress including my own, for the remainder of the year.
“If we’re asking families of the federal workforce to bear some of this burden and to live within their means, so should we as Members of Congress do the same.
“With that in mind, Mr. speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this bipartisan Bowles-Simpson recommendation and vote ‘Yes’ on the bill.”
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