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House GOP: Freeze Federal Salaries

2010 May 29
by WCR President Linda Stanton


The following article is from


House GOP: Freeze federal salaries

 By: Jake Sherman

May 28, 2010 01:01 PM EDT

House Republicans will try to force a vote on freezing federal wages when Democrats bring a defense spending bill to the floor Friday afternoon.

 It’s the last day of a long legislative week on Capitol Hill, and before lawmakers head out for the weeklong Memorial Day recess, House Democrats are trying to pass a flurry of legislation: a tax extenders bill, legislation that provides for science programs and the defense authorization bill. Even though the proposal would be attached to the defense bill, military salaries would be exempt from the pay freeze. The proposal would also freeze pay for members of Congress.

Republicans plan to use a motion to recommit — a procedural method that sends a bill back to its committee of jurisdiction — to force lawmakers to vote on the freeze to federal worker pay. Republicans hope it puts Democrats in a bind: The majority doesn’t want to vote for the motion because it could temporarily kill the legislation, but if it doesn’t vote for it, the GOP could then say Democrats voted against a spending cut. This proposal is the latest from the House GOP’s YouCut project in which voters text-message their votes on how to cut government spending.

Republicans say that freezing federal salaries — except for those in the military — would save the government $30 billion in the next decade. The Obama administration intends to increase federal salaries 1.4 percent.

Because they are in the minority, Republicans are forced to use parliamentary maneuvers to try to get Democrats to vote on such spending cuts.

“We need to reject this cynical ploy to make federal employees a scapegoat for spending after congressional Republicans added trillions to the debt when they were in the majority,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) wrote in an e-mailed statement. “Rather than purely political maneuvers, House Republicans should work with Democrats to build on efforts already under way to cut unnecessary spending and help reduce the deficit.”

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