Federal Employee Groups Lament Loss of Congressional Advocate

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. J. Scott Applewhite/AP File Photo

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., a 23-year House veteran whose work on appropriations benefited federal employees and agency offices in Northern Virginia, announced on Wednesday he will not seek reelection this November.

Employee organizations and fellow regional lawmakers expressed sadness at his departure.

“After 35 years as a public servant, as mayor of Alexandria, and for the past 23 [years] as a member of the House of Representatives, it’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge,” Moran said in a statement. “I’ve seen the appropriations process at its height, and more recently, its nadir. When the appropriations process is working, the government functions on behalf of the people, the economy is stronger, and the country overall becomes more inclusive, egalitarian and productive.”

Highlights of Moran’s career cited by his staff included championing federal employee pay equity, back pay for civil servants during last fall’s government shutdown, allowing unused sick leave to count toward retirement annuities, and funding the first public transit subsidies. “Under fire from conservatives,” his office statement said, “he took to the House floor time and again to defend what he deemed the ‘greatest civil service in the world.’”

His Republican regional partner, Rep. Frank Wolf, who also has announced his retirement, called Moran “more than a colleague” but a friend who will be missed. “He and I have worked side-by-side on a variety of projects and issues over the years, from getting funding for the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge to improvements on the George Washington Parkway to fighting for federal employees.” 

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., called Moran “a leader on environmental issues, and a fierce defender of the downtrodden….With our Republican colleague Frank Wolf, we’ve beat back efforts to slash Metro funding, secured federal support for rail to Dulles [International Airport], and defended federal employees from withering attacks” while also securing “millions of dollars to mitigate the effects” of Defense office moves under the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said, “Throughout his long and distinguished career, Jim Moran has been a champion for federal employees. Most recently, [he] sponsored the legislation to ensure that federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown would receive back pay for the time they were out of work. Without his leadership, hundreds of thousands of federal employees likely would have never recouped that lost income. Jim has gone to bat for federal employees time and time again, and I will miss that support and friendship as he retires from public service.” 

The National Treasury Employees Union also offered praise for Moran. "He brought to Capitol Hill a deep understanding of the value of federal workers and has long been a champion of all those who deliver government services on the front lines," said NTEU President Colleen Kelley. "I thank him for his leadership on behalf of all public servants and wish him well in his retirement."

Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, said not only has Moran “consistently crossed party lines to implement critical initiatives to recruit new talent for our federal workforce, he also worked tirelessly behind the scenes and on the public stage to protect and enhance the earned pay and benefits of all federal employees and annuitants. Particularly, he led the efforts to ensure that Federal Employees Retirement System employees were able to credit unused sick leave towards retirement annuities, and to rectify a law that reduced the future annuities of Civil Service Retirement System employees who end their careers in part-time status.”

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