New bill seeks federal workforce cuts, other spending reductions

Bill would cut size of the federal workforce by 15 percent.

House Republicans today introduced a bill to cut federal spending by an estimated $2.5 trillion over 10 years and eliminate many programs. Once again, the federal workforce is in the crosshairs --  the bill eliminate automatic pay increases for the federal civilian workforce for five years and cut the workforce by 15 percent through attrition.

The measure would hold non-security discretionary funding in the fiscal 2011 continuing resolution to fiscal 2008 levels and would lower non-defense discretionary spending to fiscal 2006 levels for the rest of the decade-long budget window. The adjustments would save $80 billion, according to the Republican Study Committee, a conservative group of House members.

The legislation would allow agencies to hire one new worker for every two workers who leave federal employment until the government meets the 15 percent reduction target. Another bill introduced recently proposed a 10 percent reduction to the federal workforce over 10 years. Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), who now heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy Subcommittee, is making reductions to the federal paayroll a top priority.

The Republicans want to cut many federal programs, including the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s Technology Innovation Program, which helps businesses and non-profit research firms with funding. The study committee estimates a savings of $70 million annually if the program were killed.

The bill would end the prohibition on competitive sourcing, which pits both public employees and private companies against each other to win government work. The policy under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 was banned by the previous Democrat-controlled Congresses. The Republicans also are seeking to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, which deals with paying wages for work on public construction projects.


About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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