House votes to extend pay freeze for fed workersBy JIM ABRAMS
The Associated Press | February 16,2013WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Friday to extend a pay freeze for federal workers, already in effect for more than two years, for another nine months.
Republicans, who largely backed the measure, said it would save $11 billion in the long run and that economically secure public servants could go a little longer without a raise.
Most Democrats, and the White House, criticized the bill as an example of anti-government bias and said Republicans, instead of debating a bill that has little chance of advancing in the Democratic-controlled Senate, should be concentrating on avoiding the pending automatic cuts to federal programs that could have a painful effect on the economy.
The House measure, approved on a 261-154 vote, blocks an executive order issued by President Barack Obama last December that would give the nation’s 2 million civilian federal workers a 0.5 percent cost-of-living raise from March 27, when the current federal spending agreement expires, through the end of the year.
The White House has indicated it will also include a 1 percent federal pay increase in its 2014 budget proposal.
The White House, in a statement, opposed the House bill, saying federal workers have already done more than their part in bringing down the deficit and that the legislation was added burden on those who “ assure the safety of this country’s food and airways, defend the homeland, provide health care to the nation’s veterans, search for cures to devastating diseases and provide vital support to our troops at home and abroad.”
Obama in 2010 initiated a two-year freeze on federal COLAs as part of an effort to reduce the deficit. Federal worker unions and others opposing the bill say that, with the freeze and higher pension contributions required of new workers, federal employees are already helping save $103 billion over a 10-year period.
But the bill’s sponsor, freshman Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said his “modest” bill “simply recognizes our current fiscal reality and the fact that government salaries must bear some relationship to the private sector salaries that support them.” His bill, estimated at saving $11 billion over 10 years, would also extend the freeze on congressional member pay, now running through September, until the end of the year.
The freeze only applies to cost-of-living adjustments, and not merit and longevity raises. The House Oversight and Government Reform.MORE IN Wire NewsJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jose Lantigua’s family appeared to be living the American Dream. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.