Now that federal employees are back to work, it is time for congress to decide their pay. Generally, Democrats favor across the board pay raises for federal employees each year. Republicans favor tailoring pay raises to those who deserve them or not giving them at all. This year Republicans met in the middle. When Democrats offered an across the board 2.6 percent pay raise, Republicans introduced an amendment that would exclude federal workers disciplined for sexual misconduct or harassment.
House Democrats overwhelmingly voted against the measure.
Last Wednesday, the House brought universal pay raise legislation to the floor. Republicans introduced a motion to bring the bill back to committee to add an amendment regarding sexual harassment and misconduct.
The motion said:
“During calendar year 2019, no increase in pay as authorized under this Act may be provided to any Federal employee who has been disciplined for sexual misconduct under chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, or any other provision of law.”
The motion clearly targeted individuals who had been proved guilty, by workplace human resource standards, to have committed an act of sexual misconduct or harassment.
In the private sector, pay raises are for employees who earn them with hard work and good behavior. Individuals who harass their coworkers hardly represent these qualities.
Yet, 215 Democrats and one Republican voted against the motion.
Voting to give abusers the same pay raise as their victims sends the message that the actions they took are excusable.
Despite once supporting the #MeToo movement, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) voted against the motion.
Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash also voted against the measure, while 17 Democrats sided with Republicans for its passage.
As Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La) explained in a press release,
“House Democrats voted to reward individuals who have engaged in sexual misconduct with a pay raise. Thanks to their votes, those who have been disciplined for these behaviors will be given the same, across-the-board pay increase that their victims receive. By any objective measure, this is just wrong.”