Scalise: Government Bureaucrats Must Return to Work
Washington, February 1, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) delivered a speech on the House Floor in support of Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer’s (R-Ky.) legislation, the SHOW UP Act. Leader Scalise emphasized that it is long overdue for federal employees to return to work in person. Leader Scalise pointed to the millions of hardworking Americans who have returned to work, such as our veterans, and how they deserve a government that fully works for them. Additionally, Leader Scalise highlighted the ways in which the lack of federal workers in the office has harmed American families, workers, and small businesses.
Click here or on the image above to view Leader Scalise's remarks.Leader Scalise’s remarks: “Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my friend from Kentucky for yielding and for bringing this important legislation to the Floor. You know, when you look across the country, people have worked hard to get their lives back in order, to get their small businesses back up and running, states that pushed to open their states up again because they knew that the health of their people, the mental health, [and] the ability for kids to get back in school was so critical. “Of course, data is out there all around, but especially amongst our young kids, who many millions of young kids in America lost a year plus of learning because of virtual learning, because being in the classroom just wasn't the same. And those communities that made the effort to open back up again were able to provide a much higher level of education than those schools that went out of their way to stay shut down and damage was caused to so many. “So, as you see most of the country now back at work, they look at Congress and say ‘Why isn't Washington back at work?’ When you look at federal agencies who are there to provide a service for the 330-plus million people all across this great nation, Mr. Speaker, those people expect that when they pick up the phone and they call those agencies, [they get a response]. “If you're a military veteran who served this nation, you surely showed up for work. You showed up in fact, overseas, in some cases, risking your life, receiving injuries, and you want to get your military records so you can be eligible to go get the health care you deserve. And when you call the VA and they can't get your health care records, because there's still people not at the office, those are things you can't do remotely and those veterans wait for help. That hurts people. “When you've got millions of people who are trying to get basic services like a passport, maybe they're trying to go on their honeymoon, they're waiting for a loved one to come back home that they haven't seen who lives overseas, and they've been waiting for years, they want to go visit a relative and they have waited six months in some cases, we get calls to our office on this problem. People that have been waiting over six months to get a passport renewed – that's something you cannot do remotely. If you call that office and somebody's at home, they're not able to process your passport from their home. So, you just have to wait and wait and miss dates and deadlines. “When you see what's happening with so many other people that are counting on the federal government to take care of their needs, and they wonder, ‘Why haven't they gone back to work when I've had to go back to work?’ You know, you saw the President wanting to hire 87,000 more IRS agents. Well, there are many IRS agents that aren't showing up for work. “We still get calls to this day from constituents, hard-working people who live paycheck to paycheck, who filed their tax returns in 2021, who still haven't gotten their check back. And they're wondering, ‘Why is somebody sitting at home not able to process that payment?’ Why do they have to wait over a year to get their money back from their government? “The answer is not to double the agency and hire another 87,000 people. It's to let people go back to work. This bill just says show up to work to do your job to serve those millions of people who are paying your salaries and counting on you to get the job done. This should have been done a long time ago. I'm glad we finally are getting this bill brought to the Floor. I thank the gentleman for bringing it and I yield back.”