Mrs. DAVIS of California. Madam Speaker, this week, over 650,000 civilian employees of the Department of Defense are required to begin taking involuntary furlough days. Over 25,000 of these employees reside in San Diego. This represents about a 20 percent pay cut for the next 3 months for these public servants. This pay cut is in addition to the fact that Federal employees have not received their standard salary adjustments for the past 3 years.
These salary cuts have a very damaging effect on the employees and on their families, an effect which should be clear to all of us; but they also have disastrous secondary effects. I am worried particularly about the impact these cuts will have on the recruitment and retention of the civilian workforce. As one of my San Diegan constituents in the Federal workforce said:
Furloughs send a very demoralizing and humiliating message to all Federal employees, one that suggests that we are not valued and that the work we do is not valued.
We must do better. We can start by appointing budget conferees immediately.