5:59 PM EDT
Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, we take this debate and convert it into a debate over an issue that deeply divides this Nation and is an excruciatingly difficult issue. That is unfortunate, because in my opinion, this ought not to be a difficult issue. Because it is about whether or not Federal employees are equal to all other employees in terms of spending their money. It is not the taxpayers' money; they earned it, and the taxpayer converted it to the Federal employee in return for the services they

perform for the Federal Government. It is the Federal employees' money.

Now, yes, part of that compensation is, we pay 72 percent of the benefits, but they choose the policy, and they have a wide variety of policies, because we have an excellent program as part of their compensation package.

So, Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to try to look at what the substance of this does. I tell my friend, and good friend from New Jersey, the issue that he argues passionately about I respect him for. It is not, however, the issue raised by this amendment, I would suggest to him.