Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., criticized President Obama's 0.5 percent pay-scale raise for including federal employees who receive poor performance reviews from their supervisors. (Getty Images)
House Republicans on Wednesday introduced a bill that would freeze federal pay scales for the rest of 2013.
HR 273 would cancel President Obama’s 0.5 percent pay-scale increase for federal employees, which is now slated to go into effect at the end of March, unless Congress votes otherwise. The bill’s 28 co-sponsors say further freezing pay would save taxpayers $11 billion over 10 years.
“The president has once again demonstrated his penchant for unrestrained spending by giving federal employees an across-the-board pay hike and sticking the rest of us with the $11 billion bill,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. “We simply cannot afford this unnecessary and unilateral action by the president.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., criticized the 0.5 percent pay-scale raise for including federal employees who receive poor performance reviews from their supervisors.
“As President Obama continues to say one thing and do another on deficit spending, it is appropriate for Congress to challenge his unilateral decision to spend $11 billion on non-merit-based pay raises for federal workers,” Issa said.
Federal pay scales have been frozen since the beginning of 2011. But the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, of which Issa is chairman, blasted the freeze for not including the regular within-grade step increases that raise most federal employees’ salaries by roughly 3 percent every one, two or three years, depending on how long they have been in their grades.
Extending the pay freeze until the end of this year would bring it to three years, the period recommended by the White House’s deficit reduction commission headed by former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles.
Federal employee groups blasted the bill and called for the pay freeze to end.
“Federal pay should not be politicized in this way,” said J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. “The salary freeze — along with the threat of furloughs, layoffs and another complete government shutdown — are a punishment in search of a crime.”
The bill will come up for a vote on the House floor next week, the committee said.