5:56 PM EDT
Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DELAURO) for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, this has been called an amendment on choice or life. I have argued this amendment repeatedly and have lost. This amendment is, I think, about whose money is it.

Now, I have propounded this argument before, and it has been rejected by the majority of this House. The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. PITTS) said, and numerous other speakers have said about our money, that it is the taxpayers' money, the Federal Government's money. Now, a Federal employee is in a unique position in that 100 percent of their compensation package, salary, health benefits and retirement, are paid by the taxpayer. If one adopts the premise of the opponents of this amendment,

then the Federal employee ought to be in the position of being told how to spend 100 percent of their money. That is the logical conclusion one must draw from the arguments being made today.

The Federal employee goes to work and is told we are going to pay X number of dollars, we are going to get health benefits and there is going to be a retirement system. That is their compensation package.

We take the position, apparently, that with respect to part of it, we are going to tell them how to spend it. We do not tell any other employees in the Nation how they can spend their package. We do not do it. So all of this is turned into a device to the same argument that deeply divides our Nation.

[Time: 18:00]