GOP budget proposal would cut feds, extend pay freeze

The proposal also aims to align federal pay with private sector levels

House Republicans have released their fiscal 2012 budget proposal, which includes shrinking the federal workforce through attrition, freezing federal pay until 2015, and requiring employees to pay more for their benefits, saving an estimated $375 billion over 10 years.

Similar cost-cutting measures have appeared in recent legislation sponsored by Republicans and in recommendations by the president’s bipartisan fiscal commission last year.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) “Path to Prosperity” proposal would reduce spending by roughly $6 trillion from the Obama administration's budget over the next decade.


Related story:

House passes symbolic bill to spur budget debate


The proposal states that salaries for federal workers “continue to outpace pay for their private-sector counterparts,” although the Obama administration has denied this argument.

“The roughly two million federal civilian workers received average compensation packages of $101,628 in 2010, far in excess of their private-sector counterparts,” the Republican proposal states. “Immune from the effects of the recession, federal workers have received regular salary bumps and cost-of-living-adjustments, regardless of productivity or economic realities,” it continues.

It adds that federal pay levels, increases and benefit packages should be reformed to align with the private sector.

The proposal also calls for the government to hire one new employee for every three who retire – resulting in a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce by 2014 – and require federal employees to pay for half of the defined benefit they receive at retirement under the Federal Employee Pension Plan.

While Republicans are setting the stage for next year’s budget debate, congressional leaders are still wrestling over how to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2011.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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