House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s office tells me that they’re hoping to attach a proposal to cut out next year’s federal pay raise to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, possibly today. Cantor, R-Va., plans to use the so-called “motion to recommit” — a House rule which gives the minority party one last chance to amend a bill — to force a vote on the issue.
If a pay freeze is attached to something as big and crucial as the Defense authorization bill, that could make it tough to extricate. There’s a lot that could happen — it could get stripped out in a conference committee if the Senate’s version doesn’t contain a similar provision, for example. But if the 2011 NDAA arrives on President Obama’s desk with the pay freeze included, would he go so far as to veto the entire bill over that issue? It’s hard to say, but given the fact that Obama’s already taking serious political fire over the size of the deficit, he may not want this fight.