Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives supporting the federal workforce and praising federal employees, who have "supported, defended, and been instrumental to the progress our nation has achieved through times of war and peace, recession and prosperity, and global instability and uncertainty." Norton said that Congress has long shown bipartisan appreciation for federal employees, as demonstrated by last year's legislation authorizing federal agencies to give U.S. flags to the families of federal employees who die due to employment-related injuries. "I offer this resolution as federal agencies now begin presenting flags to honor federal employees who are killed in the line of duty," Norton said.
The Norton resolution lays out the many missions of federal employees. It makes mention of significant increases in federal workforce productivity, noting that while the size of the federal workforce relative to the country's population has declined from 92 residents for every federal worker in the 1950s and 1960s to 145 residents for every federal worker in 2011, thereby placing more responsibilities on each federal employee, despite a freeze on replacing employees and on annual pay increases. The resolution points to the higher average levels of education of federal workers compared with private sector workers, and to federal employee efforts that have resulted in medical discoveries, improved health, and other scientific advances, from space exploration to biological discoveries in oceans.
"Members have varying views on federal employment issues, but I believe all would agree that our civil service consists of highly-qualified employees who often work under difficult conditions. This resolution will remind the country and federal employees themselves that the efforts of the federal workforce on behalf of the American people are inherently valuable and wholly appreciated," Norton said.