SENATE RESOLUTION 51--RECOGNIZING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND PLEDGING TO OPPOSE EFFORTS TO REDUCE FEDERAL WORKFORCE PAY AND BENEFITS, ELIMINATE CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS...; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 20
(Senate - February 06, 2017)

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[Pages S750-S751]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    SENATE RESOLUTION 51--RECOGNIZING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF FEDERAL 
 EMPLOYEES AND PLEDGING TO OPPOSE EFFORTS TO REDUCE FEDERAL WORKFORCE 
   PAY AND BENEFITS, ELIMINATE CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS, 
 UNDERMINE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, AND INCREASE THE USE OF NON-FEDERAL 
           CONTRACTORS FOR INHERENTLY GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES

  Ms. HIRONO (for herself, Mr. Brown, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. 
Blumenthal, Mr. Booker, Mr. Markey, Ms. Warren, Mr. Carper, Mr. 
Franken, Mrs. Murray, and Ms. Cantwell) submitted the following 
resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs:

                               S. Res. 51

       Whereas Federal agencies are tasked with the fundamental 
     responsibility of serving to protect, promote, and preserve 
     the rights and interests of the people of the United States;
       Whereas the activities of the Federal Government encompass 
     a broad range of activities, including--
       (1) conducting and supporting military operations;
       (2) protecting the homeland, including transportation, 
     communications, financial, and other systems;
       (3) preserving and enhancing public health;
       (4) supporting the least fortunate;
       (5) defending the rights and interests of individuals and 
     consumers;
       (6) enhancing and preserving the environment of the United 
     States; and
       (7) promoting and facilitating commerce;
       Whereas, to achieve these objectives, many Federal agencies 
     conduct operations 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 
     days per year;
       Whereas, according to the Office of Personnel Management, 
     the Federal Government directly employs approximately 
     2,100,000 individuals to carry out the functions of the 
     Federal Government;
       Whereas, in the past 50 years, the population of the United 
     States increased from approximately 198,000,000 individuals 
     to more than 321,400,000 individuals, while the Federal 
     workforce actually decreased from approximately 2,200,000 
     employees to approximately 2,100,000 employees;

[[Page S751]]

       Whereas the Federal Government functions most effectively, 
     and the interest of the public is served, when the Federal 
     Government offers fair compensation, including pay, health, 
     retirement, and other benefits, to attract and retain 
     qualified, diverse, and dedicated Federal employees;
       Whereas, to ensure the integrity of the Federal civil 
     service, it is essential that Federal employees have access 
     to constitutionally protected due process rights and the 
     ability to bargain collectively;
       Whereas full- or part-time Federal employees should 
     primarily be responsible for the activities and functions of 
     the Federal Government;
       Whereas the effective functioning of the Federal Government 
     and the integrity of the civil service have been undermined 
     by efforts to decrease pay and benefits and reduce rights 
     with respect to due process and collective bargaining;
       Whereas, through these efforts, Federal employees have 
     already contributed more than $180,000,000,000 to the 
     reduction of the Federal deficit, primarily in the form of 
     higher retirement contributions and foregone wages;
       Whereas reductions to pay and benefits, the removal of 
     collective bargaining rights, and the elimination or 
     degradation of civil service due process rights would make it 
     harder for the Federal Government to attract the best and 
     brightest to public service;
       Whereas reinstatement of the ``Holman Rule'' by the House 
     of Representatives as part of the Resolution entitled 
     ``Resolution adopting rules for the One Hundred Fifteenth 
     Congress'', approved January 3, 2017, presents a direct 
     threat to the employment and compensation of Federal 
     employees, will not result in substantial savings to the 
     Federal Government, and serves primarily to undermine the 
     morale of the Federal workforce;
       Whereas the Federal hiring freeze ordered by the President 
     on January 23, 2017, will impact the ability of the Federal 
     Government to provide services across the United States, 
     including the ability to process the payment of Social 
     Security and other benefits and conduct workplace, food, and 
     product safety inspections; and
       Whereas it is in the interest of Congress and the United 
     States for the Federal Government to be able to attract a 
     diverse, dynamic, and dedicated workforce in order to serve 
     the people of the United States: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate will deny the passage of any 
     legislation, and challenge any action of the executive 
     branch, that--
       (1) erodes fair compensation for Federal employees, 
     including by reducing wages, unjustifiably raising health 
     insurance premiums, and unnecessarily or irresponsibly 
     reducing the overall Federal workforce, such as an 
     appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives 
     that contains a provision adopted by the House of 
     Representatives under section 3(a) of the Resolution entitled 
     ``Resolution adopting rules for the One Hundred Fifteenth 
     Congress'', approved January 3, 2017;
       (2) undermines the value of employee retirement programs, 
     including by reducing earnings on retirement savings, 
     unjustly increasing employee contribution levels, or seeking 
     to transition fully to a private-sector styled plan 
     consisting solely of cash or deferred arrangements described 
     in section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
       (3) diminishes the ability of Federal employee unions to 
     effectively represent and protect the rights of employees;
       (4) reduces fundamental protections for civil servants, 
     including the right to due process; or
       (5) increases the use of non-governmental contractors to 
     perform inherently governmental functions.

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