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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Reader comments

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 cy

The establishment of "a competitive process under which all agencies must apply for, and justify new hires" will require new positions, and for non-productive work at that.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

Stop exempting DOD from any and all cutbacks and freezes! They easily out-waste the rest of FedGov combined. They are long overdue for an intervention in their management and financial practices, and byzantine organizationsl chart. IMHO, we are overdue for the same thing as was tried in 1947 and 1949- start over with a blank sheet of paper, and move chunks of the old organization over only where they make sense, and combine or eliminate the duplicates and extras.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011


So the Republicans quoted the new Census jobs that Obama took credit for with the good economy. And Obama is asking for more employee hiring for the IRS. Whats wrong with those Republicans using the hiring numbers used by the administration? Why is Obama counting federal new hires if our union says the jobs don't exist?

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

One can rest assured that hiring of congressional staffers will not be affected.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 Washington, DC

I concur with Linda's comment that it is time that Fed employees fight back. Instead of focussing on the Federal employee's pay, politians should focus on all the unnessary spending that projects burn which have very little value or are used by a significantly small percentage of the citizens. If politicians feel that it is absolutely crucial to implement a governmentwide freeze, then it should only affect NON GOVERNMENT hires and not federal employees who are already in the system. Federal employees already have a 2 year freeze in effect (which may become 5). The federal environment is quickly becoming NOT the place to be nor is this idea of a freeze a good strategic business practice. Furthermore, this is not an efficient way to treat the workforce or serve the public for numerous reasons. First, a freeze is a double jeopardy because it not only impacts/hinders a federal employee's opportunity of moving forward with their career but it also paralizes an agency from being able to hire employees that will provide more value added than perhaps the ones they currently have. In essense, agencies are stuck with the people that they have and the current employees are prevented from being capable of making employment changes that may be better suited to their skill sets and interests. This also applies to those agencies and departments that have bad management. There will be absolutely no chance for the duration of the freeze that these individuals will leave. This in my opinion, is not an efficient way to run the government agencies. It absolutely stagnates the federal government and leaves no room for improvement.

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