WASHINGTON - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) on Wednesday hailed the approval by the House Armed Services Committee of a 3.5 percent pay adjustment for members of the military - an increase which is greater than the three percent adjustment the Bush Administration requested in its FY08 budget proposal for both military and civilian employees. Hoyer, who calls himself a "long-time advocate of pay parity for federal employees," reiterated his call for civilian workers to receive the same adjustment for military personnel and vowed to work with House leaders towards that goal.
"I applaud the House Armed Services Committee in calling for a 3.5 percent pay adjustment in 2008 for the military, up from the three percent proposed by President Bush in his budget," stated Rep. Hoyer in a released statement. "The United States depends on the brave men and women of our armed forces to protect our nation's liberty, and during a time of war their sacrifices for that cause are even greater. One of the ways to recognize this sacrifice is through fair pay."
"In keeping with the long-standing bipartisan principle of pay parity, the 3.5 percent pay adjustment should also extend to federal civilian employees," continued Rep. Hoyer. "Civilian employees perform a vital role in our national security, as well as provide numerous other important services for American families, from researching treatments for deadly diseases at the NIH to ensuring agriculture products meet our nation's nutritional needs at BARC. Federal employees make significant contributions to the progress of this nation, and they too deserve a fair pay adjustment."
The 2.2 percent average increase that went into effect for 2007 is the smallest in recent years. Hoyer says this underscores the importance of the pay adjustment recommended by the Committee for 2008. Earlier this year, Hoyer led a bipartisan letter to President Bush from Washington-area House members calling for parity in the 2008 pay adjustments for both military and civilian federal employees. The Bush Administration implicitly endorsed the concept of pay parity for military and civilian employees in its FY08 budget by proposing the same increase for both classifications of federal employees.
"As in past years, I will work with the regional delegation to lead the effort to ensure pay parity for federal civilian employees," stated Hoyer. "As the Appropriations Committee begins its work, I intend to work with the Committee leadership to secure a fair pay adjustment in the tradition of pay parity for federal employees in recognition of their contributions to our country."