House rejects freeze of merit-based pay increases
The measure, Amendment No. 569 by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was rejected 191-230 when it was offered as part of H.R. 1, the bill to fund the government after the expiration of the continuing resolution on March 4. The funding bill, which cuts about $60 billion in discretionary spending from current agency levels, eventually did pass on a 235 -189 party line vote, with all Democrats and three Republicans opposing the measure.
The ultimate fate of H.R. 1 remains uncertain. President Obama has threatened to veto the House bill, and Senate Democrats have begun drafting their own CR, which includes Obama’s proposal to freeze spending for five years. With both chambers in recess this week for the Presidents Day recess, it not known whether there will be enough time to craft a budget compromise before the deadline. Such a failure could result in a shutdown of the federal government, which hasn’t occurred since 1996.
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