(House of Representatives - April 17, 2013)

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[Pages H2069-H2070]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                               JOHN BERRY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Collins of New York). The Chair 
recognizes the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. HOYER. Preliminary, however, to my remarks, I want to say I thank 
the previous speaker for his remarks, and I would hope that with the 
Senate's having passed a budget, our having passed a budget, and the 
President submitting a budget that we will now, hopefully as soon as 
this week, go to conference so that we might discuss the differences 
and get that budget to which the gentleman addressed himself.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a wonderful individual 
who has served our country in government service for many years and has 
spent the last four in overseeing our Federal workforce as the Director 
of the Office of Personnel Management. I am speaking of my dear friend 
John Berry, who retired last week as Director of the Office of 
Personnel Management.
  America, Mr. Speaker, is blessed with a Federal workforce composed of 
hardworking, talented, and dedicated men and women. Too often, however, 
their contributions are overlooked or are even denigrated by those who 
would use our Federal employees as an easy target to attack the 
institution of government.
  John Berry made it one of his central missions at OPM to stand up for 
Federal workers' achievements and remind the American people of the 
true value we get from recruiting and retaining the best public 
workforce in the world. He came to OPM with plenty of experience in 
fighting for Federal employees and their families. When he served for 
10 years as my legislative director, John was instrumental in crafting 
the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act and in making sure Congress 
passed it into law. Mr. Speaker, that was a bipartisan law, and it was 
President George Bush I who signed that piece of legislation into law 
in 1990.
  In that undertaking and in many others, John Berry made a real 
difference for the more than 62,000 Federal workers and everyone else 
who calls my district home. Just as we look to our Federal workers to 
watch out for us, our Federal employees have looked to John to watch 
out for them--to make sure that they have a safe work environment, that 
their paychecks will arrive on time, and that the benefits they earn 
are the ones they receive.
  Under President Clinton, John served as deputy Assistant Secretary 
and acting Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement at the Treasury 
Department, overseeing the United States Secret Service and the Bureau 
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He later moved to the Interior 
Department where he was Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and 
Budget, essentially the manager of the Department of the Interior.
  Before coming to the Office of Personnel Management, John spent 
nearly a decade working on conservation as Director of the Fish and 
Wildlife Foundation. Then, arguably, the job he perhaps enjoyed most 
was that of Director of the National Zoo. At the National Zoo, he was 
so successful at turning around a faltering institution that after he 
left they named a lion in his honor.
  John, indeed, was a lion--a lion on behalf of the Federal employees, 
a lion on behalf of good government, a lion on behalf of integrity. 
Those who know John can attest that he is not only a true leader and an 
effective manager but also an incredibly warm person with an 
unfailingly positive outlook.

[[Page H2070]]

  John Berry will be greatly missed by all who serve our country in its 
civilian workforce, and I wish John and his partner, Curtis, all the 
best as he begins the next phase in his career.
  I hope my colleagues will join me in thanking John for his service, 
for his leadership, for his insights, for his inspiration, and for 
being an example to all of us of a positive, constructive, supportive, 
and successful career in Federal service.
  Mr. Speaker, our country has been the beneficiary of his character, 
integrity, and extraordinary ability. We wish him well in all that he 
will be doing. I'm sure it will be extraordinarily productive and of 
service to our country as he moves on from Federal service at the OPM 
to a new challenge and a new career.