House rejects freeze of merit-based pay increases

By a wide margin, the House on Feb. 19 rejected a measure that would have extended the federal pay freeze to merit-based pay increases. It would have jeopardized step increases for hundreds of thousands of federal employees paid under the General Schedule pay system.

The measure, Amendment No. 569 by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was rejected 191-230 when it was offered as part of H.R. 1, the bill to fund the government after the expiration of the continuing resolution on March 4. The funding bill, which cuts about $60 billion in discretionary spending from current agency levels, eventually did pass on a 235 -189 party line vote, with all Democrats and three Republicans opposing the measure.

The ultimate fate of H.R. 1 remains uncertain. President Obama has threatened to veto the House bill, and Senate Democrats have begun drafting their own CR, which includes Obama’s proposal to freeze spending for five years. With both chambers in recess this week for the Presidents Day recess, it not known whether there will be enough time to craft a budget compromise before the deadline. Such a failure could result in a shutdown of the federal government, which hasn’t occurred since 1996.

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Reader comments

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 VENTURA COUNTY

There is much distress over government shutdown, economy it seems everyone is so preoccupied with pointing fingers at each other they don't seem to realize that they are part of the problem and should consider being part of the solution.

Sun, Feb 27, 2011

Should they shut the government, I will be on the street the next day looking for a private sector job. In the private sector, they generally pay more and don't lie about the pay you will receive for working harder over a given year. My government job has been tough lately and hardly worth the paltry pay. I have no choice though because the economy sucks

Fri, Feb 25, 2011 Gerald New Mexico

It seems impossible to still be amazed at the hypocrisy of the feds but I am. When DOE froze the salaries of contractors at its GOCO facilities, they were frozen. Frozen means zero percent. No cost of living adjustments and no merit-based pay increases. Meanwhile the fed employees continue to get their increases! Frozen for them seems to be a soft slush with a lot of wiggle room.

Fri, Feb 25, 2011

It is distressing that Congress is taking the week off with a potential government shutdown looming next week.

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