Cuts to federal workforce outlined in bill
Legislation proposes 10-year timeline for reduction
- By Alyah Khan
- Jan 11, 2011
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) has introduced legislation that would cut the federal workforce by 10 percent over the next decade and freeze civilian employee pay for a total of three years. Both steps were recommended in a recent report by the president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
Brady’s bill, “Cut Unsustainable and Top-Heavy Spending,” (H.R. 235) would reduce federal spending by an estimated $153 billion, according to Brady.
Pay freeze won't stop all increases
Commission vote leaves 3-year pay freeze proposal in limbo
Along with shrinking the federal workforce and the freeze, the bill would slash White House and congressional budgets by 15 percent, freeze Congressional pay for three years, eliminate government programs that are obsolete or duplicative and reduce Defense Department spending on procurement by 15 percent, according to information from Brady.
The bill introduced Jan. 7 would also collect unpaid taxes from federal workers. It also would deny unemployment benefits to unemployed people earning more or having assets greater than $1 million annually.
“Our nation's budget is out of control. We need to take strong actions today to get it back on track,” said Brady, the incoming vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “Both Republicans and Democrats on the deficit commission agreed these cuts need to be made, so let's make a down payment on restoring our nation to a balanced budget and leaner government.”
The workforce provisions and some of the other areas the bill targets for cuts might get opposition from fellow lawmakers and outside stakeholders. For example, the bill proposes to reduce research and development at DOD by 10 percent, eliminate funding for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and slowing the growth of foreign aid.
The president’s debt commission released its report in December, which included many of the spending reductions Brady is proposing in his legislation. The report did not earn the number of commission votes necessary for it to be passed on to Congress, but observers speculated that the panel’s recommendations would likely show up in future legislation.
Brady's bill has been referred to several House committees, including the Appropriations Committee, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, and the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.