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Mr. DeSANTIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership on this issue.
Mr. Speaker, we must change the way this government spends money. We have to be responsible with the money that the government makes our citizens send to Washington, D.C. Taxpayers deserve our best efforts to put our Nation on a sustainable fiscal path.
Now, this bill represents a small, but commonsense, measure that will save taxpayers $11 billion. It reverses the President's executive order at the end of last year which provides an automatic pay increase for nonmilitary Federal employees, the Vice President, and members of the President's Cabinet.
It also extends the freeze on pay for Members of Congress through the rest of the calendar year. This policy, as has been pointed out by some of my colleagues, implements one of the recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission. Many government employees do great work. Forestalling an automatic pay increase is not a reflection on their work, but simply recognizes our current fiscal reality and the fact that government salaries must bear some relationship to the private sector salaries that support them.
It should be stressed that this is a modest measure. This does not prevent pay increases based on promotion or longevity or bonuses for Federal employees from their agencies. Indeed, during the last 2 years when this freeze has been implemented, the average Federal salary increased by an average of $3,328, while the average private sector employee saw an increase of just $1,404--if she was even lucky enough to have a job at all.
I hope this body will make decisions in the coming weeks that will put the Federal Government on a path to a budget that will reach balance within the next 10 years. If we can get our fiscal situation stabilized, we can lay a foundation for robust economic growth and private sector job creation which will benefit employees of all stripes, government and private alike.
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