Pay & Benefits

Bill slashes pay of top-earning federal employees

Federal employees making more than $100,000 a year would see their salaries slashed by thousands of dollars, under legislation introduced recently.

The Promoting Accountability in Decisions (PAID) for Progress Act, introduced by Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., would, upon passage, cut all salaries for employees making more than $100,000 by 8.7 percent. The reduction would also apply to members of Congress and the president.

Afterwards, federal employee pay would be tied to increases in the real median household income, while members of Congress would be given raises dependent on changes in the same index since being sworn into office.

The real median household income has fallen by about 8 percent since 2007 – from about $56,436 to $51,939 in 2013, according to the Census Bureau. From 2012 to 2013 real median household income grew 0.3 percent.

Rice said in a statement that government regulations have restricted economic recovery and forced hardships upon middle-class families, while federal employees take home six-figure salaries.

"The PAID for Progress Act would cut regulators' salaries until the economy recovers, giving them an incentive to get government out of the way so the free market system can work," Rice said. "When take-home pay for everyday Americans returns to pre-2007 levels, so will federal government salaries."

William Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, called the legislation "the most aggressively anti-federal employee bills introduced in recent history" and said there was no reason to expand a 35 percent pay disparity between federal and private sector employees.

Many of the federal employees making more than $100,000 a year are doctors and other medical staff at agencies such as the Veterans Affairs Department. He said the legislation would make it even more difficult for the agency to recruit top talent.

"This bill is mean-spirited, short-sighted and fundamentally un-American. NFFE will vigorously oppose this legislation," Dougan said.

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