Congress to Vote Next Week on Bill Extending Federal Pay Freeze Through 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

(National Federation of Federal Employees)

Just days into the new 113th Congress, one freshman legislator is looking to make his name off the back of federal employees. This week, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla), and 28 other house Republicans introduced a bill (H.R. 273) to freeze federal pay for a third consecutive year.


The measure, which also freezes Congressional pay, is a crafty measure in that it is designed to force federal-worker-friendly politicians into a tough choice: vote for a federal and congressional pay increase, or vote for neither. In effect, DeSantis and his Republican colleagues are holding votes for a federal pay increase hostage by attaching the poison pill.


Many believe the two should be taken separately, like Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) who is the House minority whip and longtime friend of federal employees. In an email to supporters and democratic House colleagues this week, Hoyer said:


“House Republicans want to spend the opening days of this new Congress engaged in the same short-sighted and counterproductive campaign against federal employees that we saw last Congress. Democrats are urged to vote no on H.R. 273.”


He’s right. The endless stream of federal worker attacks emanating from House and Senate Republican over the past several years is unprecedented. More than two-dozen bills targeting federal pay, benefits, and jobs have been introduced over this brief span. Even now, with $103 billion in federal workforce pay and retirement cuts already passed into law, Republicans like DeSantis continue to target the federal employee.


“Federal employees have gone far above the call of duty to reduce our nation’s deficit,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “They are used to sacrificing for the greater good – they do it every day in the workplace. But this bill is not about sacrifice; it’s about politics. Tying a desperately-needed federal pay adjustment to a Congressional pay increase is reckless and irresponsible. The games need to stop now.”


NFFE’s sources on Capitol Hill suggest Congress may vote on this bill as soon as next Tuesday or Wednesday. Every NFFE member and all other federal employees need to act fast to put a stop to it. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (on your own time, using your own phone) at (202) 224-3121 and tell your House Representative VOTE NO ON H.R. 273!



June M. Beecham   01/22/13 10:54 am
The do nothing Congress did not freeze their pay over the last two years. If there is a pay freeze, it should be only for elected officials. The freeze should remain in place for them until they deliver a balanced budget on time.

Leo Blyler   01/22/13 8:46 am
Federal Pay Cuts

It is very difficult to undersstand how Congress can "tell" Federal Government employees they must suffer through another year of "sacrifices" with pay freezes and/or cuts. Last time I checked, aren't they, too, Federal employees? Aren't all the folks serving our country on the Hill there.....Federal employees as well? Then would it not be correct in saying ALL Federal employees, to include the Hill, should suffer and sacrifice this freeze?

Veonica Banks   01/22/13 5:49 am
House Representative Please Vote No On H.R. 273!

Hoby Miller   01/19/13 8:51 pm
I will do some looking around to find our unions positions on these bills. Right now my perception is that our positions are simply, yes to more money and no to less. While I appreciate someone sticking up for us easy targets and communicating breakdowns of bills as they relate to federal workers, I hope we occasionally have some more pragmatic approaches.

I realize this is a difficult thing to do with such a large organization. I also realize that we are stuck funneling these bills through politicians. What are the chances of getting a bill to the floor that requires us to pay say, 1% more for our pension and something equivocle for congress and cuts to their operating budgets similar to what we have gone through?

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