Federal employees could face unpaid leave in 2012

Legislation would also cut congressional salaries

Federal employees could be required to take 10 days of unpaid leave in fiscal year 2012 if new legislation passes. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) introduced the bill, which would reduce salaries for members of Congress by 10 percent and require the furloughs for employees of executive agencies.

The measure is yet another attempt to cut federal spending. Coffman estimated it would save $5.5 billion.

"Furloughs are becoming commonplace for state and local governments, and it's only reasonable for the federal government to follow suit," he said in a statement published on his website.


Related coverage:

 Cuts to federal workforce outlined in bill

After the pay freeze: 5 ways to keep performance up


Coffman's bill, HR 270, provides some exceptions from furloughs for national security or public health reasons.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the congresswoman who was critically wounded by a gunman at a rally in Tucson on Jan. 8, had also introduced legislation calling for a 5 percent salary cut for members of Congress. Her bill, HR 204, did not include any measures for the executive agency workforce.

Coffman had introduced similar legislation last year that would have required the furlough in fiscal 2011.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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Reader comments

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 -b Correction of Previous

Watch the video, "Why We Fight". The military-industrial-lobbiest complex and it's corruption of D.C. is much worse than Ike ever imagined it could be. Another, more recent source is the book, "Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--And a Plan to Stop It", by Lawerence Lessig goes into more detail about the 2 sides of corruption; the corporations with their cash carrots and the politicians with their extortionist like "suggestions" to donate to a war chest to have their issue advanced through Congress.

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 -b

Watch the video, "Why We Fight". The military-industrial-lobbiest complex and it's corruption of D.C. is much worse than Ike ever imagined it could be. Another, more recent source is the book, "Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--And a Plan to Stop It", by Lawerence Lessig goes into more detail about the 2 sides of corruption; the corporations with their cash carrots and the politicians with their extorshinist-like "suggestions" to donate to a war chest to have their issue adanced through Congress.

Sun, Feb 6, 2011

Start at the top and work your way down. For starters, how about eliminating Assistant Management and Assistant Directors. There are literally people for people in the areas of non-production. You dont need 6 minds talking about decisions when you need two points of view on proper approach to accomplishment. The taxpayers deserve their best bang for their buck and they are not getting it when you have 7 and only need 3. The other 4 could be money well spent if in fact they were doing production, which is where the peoples work really gets done! Cut the upper mgmt and require the Directors to pick up the slack. Most of the real upper mgmt make over 125K, pick up the slack , and consider this: Your country needs you - to consolidate and step up to the plate and go the extra mile since you are being rewarded for it. Lots of private corporations have the same person wearing two hats (i.e.Chairman/CEO) Cut the travel, cut the cars, cut the per diem and instead of all these out of town meetings that the higher ups attend, do something that technology has allowed us to have: Video-conferences, eliminate the palm pressing and money spent on hotels, etc. Stop spending on office equipment. There is no need for six printers when you need three. Put a moratorium on spending for a couple of years, this thought of having to buy cause of contracts that companies have been awarded needs to be put on hold.

Mon, Jan 31, 2011 Fed IT Worker TX

If Congress was really serious about saving money, they would move the majority of FTEs out of the Washington, D.C. metro area and into an area with a much lower locality pay. Heck, they could move the jobs to their district and make their voting base happy - I don't care. If they would just move the jobs out of the high-rent districts and into the "Rest of U.S." locatility, they could make a huge impact! Moving one (1) GS-14/1 from DC to "Rest of U.S." locality pay would provide the gov't an 8% reduction in the cost of that position. I suggest, when a position in DC is vacated, it should be reopened elsewhere in the country. This is a great deal more fare than punishing all FTEs because Congress can't do their job by cutting PROGRAMS, and instead take the "easy" road of punishing the federal workforce. I'll tell you right now, I'm starting to re-think my altruism that led me to the fed gov't over private industry. One gets to the point in life where making enough to pay the mortgage is more important than public service, and that job over at Dell is looking more and more attractive.

Thu, Jan 20, 2011

These ivory tower elitist's are making me sick with these ridiculous pieces of legislation. To quote Coffman, "Furloughs are becoming commonplace for state and local governments, and it’s only reasonable for the federal government to follow suit,” Coffman said. “At least 24 states have enacted similar budget-cutting measures, while the federal government continues to grow and rack up debt." Give us a break!! How about pushing legislation that solves problems instead of patching symptoms. Instead of bowing to economic pressures and penalizing your workforce due to bad policy decisions from your fellow law makers, stand up, make a stance and protect the workforce who is already underpaid (in spite of left-wing liberal media reports). He goes on to say members of congress would take a pay cut as well - WOW!?!? As if a congressional member’s10% pay cut would really help, or much less impact their family's livelihood. Based on 2008 figures, "U.S. senators had a median net worth of approximately $1.7 million in 2007, the most recent year for which their financial data is available, and 62 percent of the Senate's members could be considered millionaires. In the House of Representatives, the median net worth was about $684,000, with 39 percent of members having net worths estimated to be at least $1 million." It’s my opinion our legislative branch doesn’t understand what it feels like to have pay garnished from an already tight paycheck; and to suggest something like this in lieu of a 2-year pay freeze is unconscionable. Step out from your fantasy land within your I-495 bubble and get a grip on reality. To be enlightened on what your congressman/woman or senator is worth, check out http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/overview.php.

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