2012 budget with 3-year pay freeze passes House

Republicans fire first salvo in fiscal 2012 budget battle

The House has passed a Republican-sponsored fiscal 2012 budget resolution that includes measures to freeze federal pay through 2015 and reduce the federal workforce an estimated 10 percent by 2014.

The bill (H. Con. Res. 34), which passed on April 15 by a vote of 235 – 193, would trim back the civilian federal workforce through attrition by allowing agencies to hire only one employee for every three who leave federal employment.

In addition to extending the current federal civilian pay freeze, the bill also would require feds to contribute more to the defined benefit they receive at retirement.

The bill’s supporters claim the budget, dubbed “Path to Prosperity,” will trim more than $6 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years. The author of the bill, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), called the vote “our generation’s defining moment.”

President Barack Obama has proposed a different approach, blending spending cuts with tax increases -- Ryan's budget proposal lowers top tax rates -- and Democracts have criticized the Ryan proposal's changes and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, among other provisions. The Senate has not yet taken up either propsal. However, the government could be heading toward another standoff and shutdown threat as the 2012 budget process begins in earnest.

The House adjourned shortly after the vote for a recess, and will reconvene on May 2.

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Reader comments

Thu, May 19, 2011 jeff

i see the republican plan to freeze federal pay for five years as a means to circumvent President Obama's directive to reduce the cost of services contracts. This is a direct threat to in-sourcing, and will in turn force the federal government to rely on contractor support. DoD already pays more for services contracts that it spends on weapons systems!

Wed, Apr 20, 2011 Dr. Tom Lawton/Fort Sill

As I see it if Congress decides to freeze and allow not only annual pay increases and no step increases then we need a new Congress. We also need to reevaluate their salaries and benefits. The cuts that need to be made are at the top rung as well as well as the bottom rung. Regards Dr. Tom

Wed, Apr 20, 2011

Congress truly loves throwing around their weight. They pass legislation and bills impacting most everyone else but themselves and their owners (be it big business/corporations or unions). I'd truly love to see congress apply their bills to themselves and lead by example. The want to reduce agency budgets to the 2008 level; them first. They want to reduce the federal payroll by 10%; how many staffers do they need and would a 10% reduction in congressional staff be such a loss? For federal employees there are 'performance improvement plans - PIPs' for low performing employees - is it time to set up PIPs for Congress? I think beyond working with the media to divert everyone's attention from their failings; we may see a repeat of their inability to show adult behaviors, leadership or compromise. Maybe I'm wrong; time will tell.

Tue, Apr 19, 2011

As a Federal worker in the Health Care system, I can tell you that we are losing good people to outside jobs simply because the pay has NOT kept up with industry standards. As our pay was frozen our health benefits rose by 8% or more. The average cola for medical centers in my area last year 4%. If we can't get and keep qualified people, that justs puts more stress on the health care for our vets and active duty personnel.

Tue, Apr 19, 2011

Government officials advocate increased efficiency in contract acquisitions through the use of incentives. They do not practice what they preach. Instead of 1) incentivizing their workers to find efficiecies and to save funding, or 2) revamping the budget process which encourages wasteful spending, they flat line the salary and COLA of the very workers who could be saving many times their COLA or salary. Further, the workforce cuts will make daily work burdensone to those left behind to 'do more with less'. this does not reflect innovating thinking.

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