Federal hiring freeze back on the table

Rep. Cynthia Lummis' Federal Workforce Reduction Act would take effect in fiscal 2012

A Republican House member recently reintroduced a bill that would place a hiring freeze on all federal agencies expect the Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs department. The legislation is the latest in a string of measures introduced by House Republicans to shrink the size of the federal workforce through attrition.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis’ (R-Wyo.) bill, the Federal Workforce Reduction Act of 2011,  would take effect in fiscal 2012 and require the government to hire only one replacement for every two federal employees who retire or leave the government.

The legislation would also require the president to “establish a competitive process under which all agencies must apply for, and justify new hires,” according to Lummis.


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Lummis proposed the bill last year and reintroduced it Feb. 11 – a couple of days before the Obama administration released its fiscal 2012 budget proposal.

“Since President Obama took office the federal government has hired 185,000 new employees, fueled by a $1.1 trillion stimulus and 84 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending,” Lummis said in a statement. “The Federal Workforce Reduction Act would save taxpayers $35 billion over the next 10 years.”

The bill would also require public disclosure of all new federal hires, broken down by agency, as well as regular reports to Congress containing a list of appointments approved by the president.

Lummis’ legislation would allow the freeze to be waived due to an “extraordinary emergency” or to protect national security. Lummis said it would force “agency heads to make government more efficient.” 

The bill has 31 co-sponsors. 

 

 

 


 

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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