Hoyer Floor Remarks in Support of Amendment to Prevent Merger of OPM and GSA

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives today in support of an amendment offered by Congressman Gerry Connolly (VA-11) to the Financial Services-General Government appropriations bill, which would prohibit the merger of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the General Services Administration (GSA). Below is a link to the video and a transcript of his remarks:

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“I rise in strong support of this amendment, and I thank Mr. Connolly who is a leader on issues of effective government, who served as the head of government as a matter of fact in Fairfax County, and is one of our experts. I want to say to my friend Mr. Graves, the issue here for me is not that we don’t need to make OPM more efficient.I agree with his premise that we do need to do that, but the reorganization that is suggested in merging the Office of Personnel Management with the General Services Administration is in my opinion very bad logic.

“The General Services Administration deals with real property, with inanimate objects. OPM deals with human resources. There is no match between those two. Making OPM an effective, efficient organization is an objective that we ought to all share. And I know that Mr. Connolly shares that objective, and I know that Mr. Connolly and Mr. Graves and Mr. Quigley working together could certainly affect that end, which I would support.

“But I do not support what I perceive to be a retaliatory suggestion about laying off people at OPM. In other words, if we can’t merge it, we’re going to lay them off. Frankly, if there is evidence that there are too many people and enough people to do the job that is being done and that we can either transfer people to other agencies that might need them, that’s one thing. But I don’t think that’s the evidence that we see. And clearly there would be sufficient funds in the budget that Mr. Quigley has offered to make sure that we have an efficient, effective Office of Personnel Management.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, my perception is that there is a hostility, frankly, toward the federal workforce in this Administration. I think that’s unfortunate. Whether you think government ought to be small or large, you ought to agree on the fact that whatever size it is, we ought to have an effective human resource agency so that the morale of our employees, the competency of our employees, the work ethic of our employees, the benefits administration for our employees is all done in effective, efficient manner.

“So I would hope that we would make sure that we don’t get into this retaliatory political response, rather than a substantive response. I think that’s what Mr. Connolly’s amendment is about, and I thank Mr. Graves for his comments, but I would urge my colleagues to vote yes on the Connolly amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.”  

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