Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Speaker, as the 113th Congress begins, I strongly believe that no Member of Congress should have his or her salary increased. It is critical that this nation's elected leaders lead by example in the quest to reduce our debt and put this nation on sound financial footing. Responsible, accountable leadership is required in Washington if this train of fiscal disaster is ever going to get rerouted onto a track toward prosperity and economic growth. That is why I am a cosponsor of legislation that would halt the pay increase for Members of Congress under the President's December 27, 2012 Executive Order and legislation to stop the a utomatic pay increase for members of Congress.
However, 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.
There is no question that our nation must get its spending in order, and federal employees are certainly eager to do their part to help in this effort. Their daily contributions to their fellow citizens and to the cause of freedom are simply innumerable, and yet during the deficit reduction debate over the last few years, federal employees have been asked to contribute more than their fair share.
Our federal civilian employees live a life of selfless service, and they deserve our appreciation. I am hopeful that deficit reduction efforts going forward will focus more realistically on addressing the true drivers of our debt, rather than targeting those who are trying simply to serve their nation each and every day.