Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
GETTING FEDERAL EMPLOYEES BACK TO WORK; Congressional Record Vol. 141, No. 212
(Senate - December 30, 1995)
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[Pages S19319-S19320] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] GETTING FEDERAL EMPLOYEES BACK TO WORK Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I will just take a minute or two. I do share the view expressed by the Democratic leader that it is not fair to the Federal employees. And I must say that a lot of people call me and say it is not fair to the taxpayers; if you are paying people for not working, that is not a very good idea either. I do not suggest the Federal employees want it that way, but that is precisely what has happened. It is my hope we can come to some resolution here very quickly. That is why we will come in again tomorrow at noon, in the hopes that tonight we can work out something so that people can go back to work on Tuesday, and that if they cannot be, as the Democratic leader indicated, paid immediately, at least they can be assured they will be paid. I think we have made progress in our budget negotiations with the President, with the Democratic leadership, Senator Daschle, Congressman Gephardt, myself, Speaker Gingrich, and Majority Leader Armey on the House side. We will go back tonight, we are going to be there tomorrow morning, and maybe even later tomorrow, but at least tomorrow morning. I hope during that time tonight and tomorrow morning the Democratic leader, Senator Daschle, and I can devise some way to come back up here tomorrow, pass a resolution, send it to the House, and that the House will accept it. It seems to me that on Tuesday Federal employees should be back to work, parks should be open, and we ought to be about our business. I hope we can get that resolved. I just say, so that the record is complete, a number of bills were passed that were vetoed by the President: VA-HUD, a lot of Federal employees involved; State, Justice, Commerce, vetoed by the President, a lot of Federal employees involved; the Interior bill, vetoed by the President, a lot of Federal employees involved; Labor-HHS, we cannot get it up because of a party [[Page S19320]] split on the Senate floor, a lot of Federal employees involved. We do have a CR for the District of Columbia until the 3d of January. That leaves one bill that is still hung up because of one difference. We ought to be able to resolve that one difference. The foreign operations appropriations bill is very important, and I hope we can resolve it perhaps as early as Wednesday or Thursday of this next week. We are prepared to proceed. We had hoped we might have passed the bill with the Mideast Peace Facilitation Act, deeming all employees essential, and the expedited procedure. That is not going to happen. We need to find another way to address the problem. As the Democratic leader indicated, the primary aim is to get people back to work as quickly as possible, either with pay or certainly with the assurance that they will be paid, so that they can make plans that are necessary. I know I speak for my colleague, Senator Warner of Virginia, who has been in contact with me daily, and I know other Members of the House who were in contact with me today, Congresswoman Morella of Maryland, Congressman Wolf, and Congressman Davis of Virginia. We will be working with them and others who have an interest in this. I thank my colleague. ____________________