House Passes Pay Freeze Extension Measure

The House voted on Thursday to pass legislation that would extend the current federal pay freeze through 2015 and increase the amount federal employees contribute toward their pensions.

The Republican fiscal 2013 budget plan, led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was approved in a 228-to-191 vote in the House. While the concurrent resolution is not a law, it does provide an indication of how the House GOP majority will vote in the fiscal 2013 budget process.

Republicans’ $3.5 trillion budget plan would extend the federal pay freeze on civilian workers through 2015, reduce the size of the government through attrition by 10 percent and increase federal employees’ contribution toward their retirement benefits, resulting in about $368 billion in cuts to the federal workforce over the next ten years.

The president of the National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, argued that the House-approved bill would hurt agencies’ ability to retain top workers.

“This budget does not serve the best interests of our nation and the American people,” Kelley said. “I look forward to the Senate giving it the support it deserves: None.”

House Democrats also introduced their budget plan that would give federal workers a 0.5 percent pay increase and would not change feds’ retirement benefits. Lawmakers rejected the Democrats’ budget proposal, led by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., in a 262-to-163 vote.

“Proposals to implement an indiscriminate 10 percent across-the-board cut to the federal civilian workforce would adversely affect security agencies, leaving them unable to manage their total workforce, which includes contractors, and their operations in a cost-effective manner,” the Democratic proposal said.

Posted in General News

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