October 5, 2013
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.R. 3223, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, which ensures that federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown will receive back pay:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3223, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act. This bill is an important measure to address the innocent bystanders in this shutdown – the 800,000 federal workers who have faced furloughs over the past week.
"This is a bipartisan bill that I hope every Member in this House will be happy to support. I am glad to see that, at the very least, the Senate has plans to take up this bill, even if they won’t consider most of our other bills.
"As we wait for the Senate to come to the negotiating table, our federal workforce should not wait to find out whether or not they will be paid. This bill will provide back pay for those workers who have been furloughed in a fair, full and timely manner after the shutdown ends.
"Historically, this is in-line with the compensation process following previous shutdowns.
"However, it is unfortunate that we need this bill in the first place, as federal employee salaries should be approved through the regular Appropriations process. Appropriations bills are must-pass legislation, and it’s our duty to check that box, every single year, before September 30.
"The House made strides toward this end – In fact, as of yesterday, the House has approved 15 different options to fund the government. Sadly, the Senate has rejected every one of them.
"I hope this bill – which I know is a priority for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle – will encourage this Congress to find that spirit of bipartisanship that seems to have evaporated over the past few weeks. It will demonstrate that we are able to let level heads prevail, and that we can unite in our responsibility to care for the hundreds of thousands of people who serve this nation day in and day out.
"I’d like to thank Mr. Wolf and Mr. Moran, two fine members of the Appropriations Committee, for bringing this important bill to the floor.
"I urge my colleagues to provide our workforce with some certainty for their futures, and pass this bill. Thank you."