Washington, D.C. (Feb. 11, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, delivered the following remarks at the 2nd District Legislative Reception of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).
Below are Chairwoman Maloney’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Remarks of Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
2nd District Meet and Greet Reception
February 11, 2020
Thank you, Vice President Castellano, for inviting me to speak at AFGE’s 2nd District Legislative Reception. Thank you for your invaluable work representing federal government workers throughout New York.
I would also like to thank all of you for your tireless dedication to public service. You go to work every day as employees of the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, Defense, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and other agencies. You ensure that Americans are safe, that they receive their health and disability benefits, and that they are getting the care that they need.
While you are working hard for the American people, it is our job, as Members of Congress, to ensure that you have job security, a respectful workplace, and adequate pay and benefits. This is the least we should do to retain and attract the top-tier individuals we need to help run the federal government.
That’s why I proudly sponsored the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act to provide 12 weeks of paid leave for federal employees when they have a new baby or adopt a child. And after years of struggle, we finally got it passed on the National Defense Authorization Act last year!
I’m very proud of that victory, but let’s also be clear: President Trump and Republicans in Congress are leading an unprecedented assault on union members and on the continued existence of unions in the federal workplace.
Never before has an Administration shown so much hostility—in every collective bargaining negotiation; in rulings from the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and in decisions of the Impasses Panel.
It’s fair to say that the Trump Administration is hostile to the very law that established collective bargaining in the government.
Just last week, the Republican Study Committee released a report recommending that Congress cut federal employee pensions, limit government contributions to Federal Employee Health Benefit plans, and limit pay increases.
I want you to know that Democrats in Congress are fighting for you. We believe what that the law said it right—that labor unions and collective bargaining are “in the public interest.”
Under President Trump, federal employees have suffered years of pay freezes and government shutdowns. The President has put your hard-earned pensions at risk. And we still don’t have paid leave for medical reasons.
These are not the actions of a model employer, and they hurt our efforts to recruit and retain the best talent.
So I, along with my Democratic colleagues, will continue to fight for federal employees across the government. We must ensure that our civil servants enjoy the right to bargain collectively and that they receive the benefits that they need and deserve.
Last year, we lost our beloved Chairman, Elijah Cummings. He was a fighter for federal workers.
I am honored to succeed him as Chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, and I pledge to you that I will fight for you just like Elijah did.
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