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Excepted Employees' Pay Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this bill because people do need a paycheck. They need to be able to plan their expenses based on their income, and we have disrupted that income flow, so it makes sense to say, let's get the pay schedule back on track.

But I want to say something in a broader context that, after offering the Senate three different compromises on keeping the government open--three different compromises that were rejected--and then a fourth offer to let's immediately, last Sunday, go to a conference and start negotiating our differences, all of those were rejected; but even in that context, we have found a few things that we can agree on: the military pay bill, which not only included the men and women in uniform but the civilian support staff that they had.

As Mr. Moran has pointed out, recently we came together again for the furloughed employees to be able to get back pay for the time in which they're out of work. Then we tried the other day to pass--and did from the House--the NIH, the National Institutes of Health, which passed the House floor on an overwhelming bipartisan basis; and we're looking at other programs that have passed, again, on a bipartisan basis, such as WIC--the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program--Head Start, Impact Aid, and we have a number of others.

Why, Madam Speaker, are those important?

Because many of us have actually chaired and participated in conference committees where House and Senate Members come together to iron out their differences. Frequently, the gap is huge, and frequently, the differences are numerous.

We know from experience that if you can start chopping those big differences into small steps, eventually you close the gap, and that is what the House Appropriations Committee, under Chairman Rogers, is doing, and much of it with the support of Democrat House Members.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. CRENSHAW. I yield the gentleman another minute.

Mr. KINGSTON. But if we can get some of these things off the table--if we can agree on military pay, if we can agree on the civilian support staff for military, if we can agree on furloughed employees, and if we can agree with NIH, that science and public health should be off the table--then, Madam Speaker, that big gap that stands between us and the Senate right now, it begins to narrow, and we create a little bit of momentum for a solution.

There are still going to be great differences that aren't going to be easy, but I think it is very important for us to come together and find the things on which we do agree, and at least move in a positive direction on them.


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