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.


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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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