7:00 PM EDT
Walter B. Jones Jr., R-NC 3rd

Mr. JONES of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment, a simple and commonsense statement from this Congress that says we stand with our Nation's Federal civilian employees.

We are here today to take a stand and rein in a personnel system that is opposed by nearly each and every one of the 700,000 members of the DOD Federal civilian workforce.

The National Security Personnel System, or NSPS, is a system that restricts our Nation's Federal civilian employees of their collective bargaining rights, as well as the right to have an independent labor relations board settle disputes, as was recently affirmed in a court of law.

This amendment would withhold the funding to go forward on implementing only those portions of the NSPS declared illegal. It would not arbitrarily kill the system as a whole, but allow Congress to carry out its oversight responsibility.

Congress has continuously affirmed its strong support of the men and women in our Nation's military. Today, with this amendment, we are asking the same thing, reaffirm your support for our Nation's Federal civilian workforce.

Mr. Chairman, by passing this amendment we will help send a message to these highly valuable men and women that we stand with them today; that we stand with those Federal civilians who maintain and repair our Navy and Marine Corps' battle-worn helicopters; that we stand with those Federal civilians who capitalize and upgrade our Army's Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks; that we stand with those Federal civilians who skillfully manage our Air Force's logistics and distribution operations;

and that we stand with those Federal civilians who maintain, overhaul and upgrade our Navy's fleet of ships, submarines and aircrafts.

I hope that my colleagues in this House of Representatives will join us and vote ``yes'' on this amendment.