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Public Statements

Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I adopt the remarks that were made by Ms. Norton. The delinquency rate of Federal employees is far below what it is for other employees on a general level throughout this country. I adopt the gentlelady's remarks that, yes, this is April 15, and my own staff has said, oh, I had to pay this, that, or the other.

The implication here is that we brought a bill dealing with Federal employees this day. Why? Because Federal employees are very easy to target. For people who don't like government: Well, the Federal employees, look at what they're doing. You're having to pay your taxes today before those deadbeat Federal employees. That's the message here.

Now, if this were a problem that you really wanted to deal with, it wouldn't have to be April 15. It could have been February 15 or it could be June 15. But, no, that's not the message here.

The message is that somehow Federal employees need to be targeted. I understand they work for us, and so they're easy to get at. And we are getting at them almost every week. We're furloughing them. We're suggesting they pay more, that they're not paying enough for retirement. We are suggesting that somehow they're less than stellar employees.

But before I conclude, let me take a second look at this.

We had a tragic event happen in Boston today, and the President was quick to call Governor Deval Patrick and say we're going to send some Federal employees from the FBI, the ATF, and other agencies to make sure that we look at this and protect America.

We extend our sympathies, of course, to all the victims and their families.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. HOYER. We express our sympathies to all of them, and we recognize that they have some employees in Boston and around this country at the municipal and State level, and, yes, at the Federal level, who are going to try to respond and make sure America is safe.

Let's send a message to those Federal employees, because they're our employees, that we respect them, their contribution. Let us not bring a bill to the floor--by the way, the gentleman is correct that it passed here not with my vote last year, because I thought it was a message that was incorrect. I thought that there were processes in place today which allow us to act against those, yes, who are tax delinquents. But very frankly, this is not a discussion today about huge tax delinquents, huge tax frauds, people who are not paying taxes to this country in which they're being so successful.

So, Mr. Speaker, first of all, we send our regrets to those who have been the subject of a terrorist act, whether it was a domestic terrorist, a foreign terrorist, but a terrorist act this day.

Secondly, we say to those Federal employees who time after time, week after week, month after month are being disparaged by their board of directors, that we understand the quality of their service and contribution. And, yes, we understand there are some who don't do what they ought to do, and we demand that they do so, but this is not the way to do it.

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