Lauren Boebert attack on working from home perfectly shut down by expert
Professional Republican embarrassment Lauren Boebert was left red-faced after trying to catch out a government official over home-working policies.
The Colorado Republican and Beetlejuice fan took aim at Social Security Administration (SSA) official Oren (Hank) McKnelly during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday (29 November).
During her rant, Boebert claimed that the agency was allowing “delinquent employees” to slack off during work hours by working from home. She called the policy “absolutely unacceptable”.
She was then shut down by McKnelly, who said SSA employees are working “whether they are in the office or at home”.
After Boebert interrupted him by asking whether home-working employees were subject to the same monitoring as office employees, McKnelly replied: “Yes, we are.”
A then-stuttering Boebert attempted to ask for specific monitoring practices within the SSA, which McKnelly said were equivalent between home-working and office-working employees.
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“Our employees are subject to the same performance management processes and oversight whether they are teleworking or working in an office, and we have systems in place that our managers use to schedule, assign and track workloads,” he said.
“That includes individual employee workloads in many cases, so real-time understanding of what actions are being processed at any particular given time.”
SSA backlogs the result of underfunding, officials argue
Boebert then shifted the question towards the department’s backlog, which she said had “increased from 41,000 to 107,000,” further claiming that more than one million Americans were waiting to for SSA claims to be processed.
McKnelly replied that the SSA has been a “historically underfunded” department.
Administration officials have historically called for a funding increase, with some saying that the department is in a “state of emergency”.
The president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 220, Jessica LaPointe, said in June that the “decade of congressional underfunding” had damaged America’s social security net.
According to the AFGE, statistics show that SSA beneficiaries have increased by 25 per cent over the past decade, while the department’s budget has decreased by 17 per cent.
The organisation’s national president, Everett Kelley, told a crowd of campaigners at the time: “It should be no surprise that despite all the best efforts of SSA’s overworked employees, there are growing backlogs in the field, more service delays on the 800 [free phone] number and long lines at field offices across the country.”
Boebert claimed during the hearing that this wasn’t true, saying she believed the department wasn’t underfunded.
“You’re funded at the [former Democrat speaker] Nancy Pelosi levels, at the Democrat levels. We just continued that same funding … at pandemic-level spending,” she said.
McKnelly replied that the increase in demand coupled with the decrease of funding was very real and a problem.
“If you have those workloads increasing and you don’t have the staff to take care of those workloads, you’re going to have the backlogs that you’re talking about,” he pointed out.
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