Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) applauded the passage of the Congressional Pay Freeze Act by the House of Representatives this evening. Fitzpatrick's legislation extends the existing pay freeze for federal workers through Calendar year 2013. President Obama on December 27th, 2012 issued an Executive Order rescinding this pay freeze, including for Members of Congress and his own Administration.
"Last week, with the prospect of the fiscal cliff looming large and Congress working through the last minute to avert financial and economic disaster, President Obama felt it was appropriate to grant pay raises across the federal government. I could not allow this to go unchallenged," said Fitzpatrick. "At a time when American families are tightening their belts and businesses are reducing salaries to make ends meet, I believe that the federal government must lead by example."
Fitzpatrick also noted the increasing disparity between federal and private sector workers, citing a recent study showing that the average federal worker earns 20% more than a private worker in a similar occupation before taking into account additional federal benefits.
"While I will continue to protect and preserve pay increases for the men and women in the United States military, we must reject this unnecessary and inappropriate raise for Congress, the Administration and the federal bureaucracy."
"We hear a lot of talk from some of our colleagues about shared sacrifice. Higher taxes from Obamacare are coming and tax rates for certain businesses and individuals are going to be going up. The private sector and small businesses are being asked to sacrifice. What kind of a message does it send if at the same time Members of Congress, the administration, and the federal government get a pay raise? That is exactly the wrong message at exactly the wrong time."
"I urge my colleagues in the Senate and Administration to support this bill to send the American people the message that public sector and elected officials do not consider themselves exempt from the economic realities of our time."