Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, chairman of the federal workforce subcommittee, made a statement in the Congressional Record today opposing a proposal to impose a federal hiring freeze.
Senator Akaka said the proposal “would end up costing the government more over the long-run, by increasing our reliance on contractors whose work would not be capped.” He noted the “proposal would sacrifice our Nation’s long-term investments in the employees needed to efficiently and effectively run government programs for a short-sighted approach that does nothing to address our current fiscal challenges.”
Akaka also defended public servants against attacks, saying they are “hard working, talented people who have dedicated their lives to the service of this country,” and that they “deserve our gratitude and respect.”
Senator Akaka is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, within the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
As Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Federal workforce, I strongly oppose the proposal by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to impose a hiring freeze for all non-security positions in the Federal government. If adopted, this proposal would sacrifice our Nation’s long-term investments in the employees needed to efficiently and effectively run government programs for a short-sighted approach that does nothing to address our current fiscal challenges.
Over the past two years, we have made efforts to rebalance the work performed by Federal employees and contractors. Many times, replacing contractors with Federal employees allows agencies to more efficiently meet their missions and provide vital services. The American people expect strong leadership from the Federal government and we must make sure the Federal government has the people it needs to perform critical functions and to properly oversee the important work done by contractors. Freezing the Federal workforce could once again lead to dramatic over-reliance on contractors, putting agency missions and taxpayer dollars at risk.
The American people deserve a government that hires the right people with the right skills to run their government in an effective and efficient manner. An arbitrary cap on Federal employees is a poor substitute for the careful, thoughtful approach to Federal workforce planning we need.
Our Federal civil service is comprised of hard working, talented people who have dedicated their lives to the service of this country – and our way of life would not exist without them. These are honorable men and women who provide critical services to the American people, including protecting our Nation, ensuring that our food and drugs are safe, caring for our wounded warriors, and responding to natural disasters. America’s public servants deserve our gratitude and respect. I thank them for their dedication.