WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) delivered remarks on the House Floor this afternoon in support of legislation from the House Oversight and Reform Committee including H.R. 302, the Preventing a Patronage System Act, H.R. 2988, the Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act, and H.R. 8326, the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and the video:
“Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this and the other two bills from the Oversight and Reform Committee that we are considering this week.
“Not only will they make government more accountable to the people it serves; they are also a testament to the extraordinary work and dedication to service of the Committee’s Chairwoman, my friend Carolyn Maloney. She leaves Congress at the end of this year after an accomplished three decades in office. During that time, she has been a champion for her New York constituents and for all those across the country who cherish good government and the causes of justice, opportunity, and equality for which she has worked so hard.
“Today, she continues that service by offering, on behalf of her committee, these three bills. I want to make particular mention of the bill authored by Chairman Gerry Connolly of the Government Operations Subcommittee, which has been strongly supported by Chairwoman Maloney and their colleagues on the Committee’s Majority.
“I too strongly support this effort, which would protect the nonpartisan nature of our civil service by ensuring that presidents cannot simply fire federal workers by reclassifying them as ‘Schedule F’ employees. That’s what the previous President suggested he would do, had he not been voted out of office. We must guard against a future president taking that dangerous step, which would essentially return us to the kind of patronage system that fueled corruption and partisanship before the civil-service reforms of the late nineteenth century.
“The other two bills authored by Chairwoman Maloney are equally necessary and beneficial to the American people. The first would further protect whistleblowers against retaliation, and the second would protect the nonpartisan nature of the U.S. Census, prescribed by our Constitution and so vital to equal representation.
“President Lincoln famously described ours as ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people.’ These bills – like the work of Chairwoman Maloney throughout her career in public service – will help us keep it that way. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting ‘yes’ on all three bills.”