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House bill would freeze pay for 3rd year, increase oversight of GSA

Jun. 5, 2012 - 05:50PM   |  
By STEPHEN LOSEY   |   Comments

The House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government on Wednesday is expected to approve a 2013 spending bill that contains no federal pay raise and would beef up oversight of the General Services Administration in the wake of a spending scandal there.

The financial services and general government appropriations bill typically contains a provision raising federal employees’ pay. The fiscal 2013 bill does not, meaning that if it becomes law, federal employees’ pay would be frozen for a third straight year. President Obama has proposed a 0.5 percent pay raise.

The bill calls for almost $21.2 billion in spending, which the committee said would be $376 million below fiscal 2012 levels and $2 billion below the White House’s request. When adjusted for inflation, the proposed 2013 bill would be virtually equal to 2008 funding levels.

GSA would be allowed to spend $7.9 billion from the Federal Buildings Fund, which would be $101 million less than 2012 levels and $702 million below the White House’s request. The bill would also cut the building fund’s administrative expenses by 14 percent, the committee said.

The committee said it also wants to place new oversight measures on GSA, “given the GSA’s questionable spending of tax dollars.” The bill requires quarterly spending reports, limits on cash awards to GSA employees, stricter limits on travel and conferences, and an inspector general report into travel, conferences and bonus procedures.

The Treasury Department would receive $12.3 billion in 2013. This would represent a $43 million cut from 2012, and would be almost $952 million below the White House’s request, the committee said. The IRS’s budget would remain flat at $11.8 billion. The bill does not provide any requested funds to implement the health care reform bill, and prohibits the IRS and Health and Human Services Department from transferring funds to implement the bill.

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