Senate weighs federal employee pay freeze

Measure passed the House last week

Editor's note: Hours after the publication of this story, Senate leaders withdrew the omnibus bill. See story here.

Following House approval last week, the Senate is considering a two-year pay freeze for all civilian federal employees. The Obama administration proposed the freeze near the end of last month.

However, the measure is part of the massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package for fiscal 2011, introduced in the Senate this week. The bill includes a provision to freeze federal employee pay at current levels from January 2011 to December 2012. But the bill is encountering significant resistance, partly because its length makes it difficult for senators to read it during the time allotted for debate, and its passage will be no easy task.


Related coverage:

House approves two-year federal pay freeze

Some lawmakers seek to dilute pay freeze proposal


Last week, the House passed a continuing resolution with the same pay freeze provision.

If enacted, the freeze would not affect step increases or promotions. The Senate package, similar to the House's continuing resolution, states that the president may issue guidance to executive agencies on how to implement the freeze.

Labor groups have expressed opposition to the freeze, arguing that it unfairly targets federal workers.

A group of Washington-area House lawmakers also opposed the freeze but were unsuccessful in their plea to colleagues not to approve the measure.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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