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Senate panel advances bill with no provision for pay raise

Jun. 13, 2012 - 12:38PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

A Senate panel has approved a spending bill that contains no pay raise for 2013.

The bill passed Tuesday by the Senate subcommittee on financial services and general government funds a variety of agencies, including the IRS and the General Services Administration. The annual spending bill typically contains a provision raising federal employees’ pay.

A Senate source familiar with the legislation could not explain why the bill contained no pay raise provision or whether it might be added later in the process. The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill Thursday.

President Obama proposed a 2013 budget that includes a 0.5 percent pay raise for federal employees.

The House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government on June 6 approved a 2013 spending bill that contains no federal pay raise, sending it to the full committee, where it is likely to pass.

Federal employees are now in their second year of a pay freeze. If the Senate measure is approved, that would extend the freeze to a third year.

The legislation has not been released, but a subcommittee news release offers a few details:

• GSA would get $56 million for new construction and $515 million for the repair of federal buildings and courthouses.

• The IRS would receive $12.5 billion, $702 million above fiscal 2012 levels but $242 million below the president’s request.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement that recent budget cuts have threatened IRS’ ability to function properly.

“The Senate saw this problem and took a step to correct it by providing the agency with greater support to help taxpayers navigate the complex tax code and collect the revenue the government sorely needs to provide vital public services and address our deficit.”

• The bill would provide $1.1 billion for other Treasury Department programs such as terrorism and financial intelligence programs, administration of federal disbursements such as Social Security payments, and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. That would be $25 million below fiscal 2012 levels because of savings from more efficient operations.

• The Securities and Exchange Commission would receive $1.6 billion, an increase of $245 million, or 19 percent, above this year’s level.

Budgets for other affected agencies:

• The Commodity Futures Trading Commission: $308 million, $102.7 million more than this year.

• The Consumer Product Safety Commission: $122.4 million, $7.9 million more than this year.

• The Small Business Administration: $956.7 million, $38 million more than this year.

• The Federal Communications Commission: $347.8 million, $7.9 million more than this year.

• The Office of Government Ethics: $20.2 million, $6.5 million more than this year.

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