Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate federal workforce subcommittee, issued the following statement today opposing an amendment to the Surface Transportation bill:

“I am voting against the Baucus amendment on rural school funding because it is paid for primarily by changes to the federal retirement program.  As a former educator I highly value school funding, but I must stand up against Congress’s new habit of treating federal employees like a piggy bank.

“Congress must stop taking from our dedicated federal employees, talented men and women who we need to keep our nation strong, to fund completely unrelated priorities.  If we are going to ask middle class workers to offset the costs of legislation, it should only be as part of a broad agreement involving shared sacrifice by millionaires and billionaires, or to fund other pressing priorities supporting federal employees.”

The amendment (#1825) introduced by Senator Max Baucus later passed by a vote of 82-16, with Senator Akaka in opposition.