Hoyer comes out against two-year federal pay freeze

The letter was signed by members of the Maryland and Virginia delegations as well as District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). Reps. James Moran (D-Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and John Sarbanes (D-Md.) also signed the letter.

They wrote that "we do not believe civil servants should be unfairly targeted," and said Bureau of Labor Statistics show that federal employees are paid less that private sector counterparts, contrary to Republican claims they are overpaid.

Democrats have been arguing Obama gave away a negotiating chit in agreeing to a federal pay freeze without extracting any concessions from Republicans on deficit reduction.