The Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee thinks most federal employees are good workers – and they deserve a pay raise.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wouldn't say whether he agrees with President Obama's proposed 1.3 percent pay raise for 2016, but he did say federal employees should not lose ground as inflation erodes their salaries.
Chaffetz spoke at the National Treasury Employee Union's annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 4, asking federal employees to help him root out bad apples and push for meaningful changes in their agencies.
"People that work in the federal government, I find they're hard working, they care about their country, they are patriotic, they do a good job. But there are some people out there that don't," Chaffetz said.
He said some of his top priorities include some pay reforms – highlighting a bill that would even out overtime among border agents – as well as overhauling federal IT procurement and management.
"I hear the horror stories throughout your organizations. The federal government spends almost 100 billion a year on IT and some of it just doesn't work," he said.
He called on federal employees to work with him, send him stories of programs that don't work or issues that need to be addressed among their agencies.
It is also time to stop demonizing federal employees, Chaffetz said, adding that he did not like "gratuitous cheap shots" leveled at federal employees to score political points. He also invited federal employees to share their stories with him and he would do his best to help.
In an interview with reporters Chaffetz added that he believes there are too many federal employees and that agencies need to do a better job of managing their workforces and making sure they are spending money wisely.
But he did say he would work to identify bipartisan legislation that reformed federal programs in a positive way, identifying bills that would give service-disabled veterans advanced sick leave or legislation reforming overtime for border patrol agents as good examples.
"I cannot thank you enough for the good work that you do. I want us all to be a part of the solution not part of the problem," he said.