Maryland is home to a robust federal workforce that serves our country with pride. Federal employees work day-in and day-out to provide crucial services to the American people, and in the darkest hours of the COVID-19 pandemic, they stepped up by carrying out vital programs that help Americans put food on their tables and keep roofs over their heads. Senator Van Hollen has been a tireless champion for our federal workers and has fought to defend them against efforts to undermine the core tenets of our civil service system while simultaneously working alongside colleagues to secure benefits and protections that will make our government and our country stronger.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Van Hollen repeatedly called for the implementation of additional protections for federal employees to allow their vital work to continue while keeping them safe from exposure. That push included bipartisan efforts to increase remote work throughout the federal government. When the Trump White House took executive action that would make it easier for the Administration to fire non-partisan civil servants, Senator Van Hollen led the charge to block that assault on our federal agencies and ensure that civil servants, including many Marylanders, could continue their work on behalf of the American people without blatant partisan political interference. When partisan gamesmanship led to the shameful Trump Government Shutdown of 2018 and 2019, Senator Van Hollen spearheaded bipartisan efforts to ensure federal workers got paid retroactively once the government reopened, and he repeatedly stood with federal workers in calling for an end to these shameful shutdowns.
The Trump Administration attempted to undercut the civil workforce and hurt our federal employees, and though many of the harmful policies of the past Administration are being reversed by President Biden, there’s still more work to be done. Since he took office, Senator Van Hollen has fought to ensure that all federal employees are fairly compensated and treated with respect so they can continue to carry out their duties with the resources they need and the dignity they deserve. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen has continuously fought for pay increases for federal workers within the yearly federal budget to keep salaries competitive and retain top talent. He was also a key voice for the inclusion of paid parental leave for federal workers within the National Defense Authorization Act that was negotiated between the House and Senate in 2019 and signed into law. Senator Van Hollen is a steadfast defender of the right of federal employees to organize and collectively bargain in the workplace, and he continues to work with their union representatives to ensure the fair treatment of our public servants.
Federal workers help keep our country running both in normal times and in times of crisis. Senator Van Hollen is fighting to ensure that they can carry out their essential work – unobstructed by political games – and have the resources they need to continue serving our fellow citizens with distinction.