Senate votes down pay freeze


The Senate earlier today voted down the latest Republican deficit reduction proposal that would have frozen federal pay raises and bonuses.

The tax bill amendment, offered by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., would have also capped federal staffing levels and imposed a 5 percent across-the-board budget cut for all federal agencies except the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments. The amendment was defeated on a 41 – 57 vote.

Thune blasted lawmakers for defeating the amendment, which he called “a common sense step toward restoring fiscal sanity.”

“The defeat of my amendment was a missed opportunity for Congress to prove they are serious about tackling our dangerous spending habits and $13 trillion national debt.”

But Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., criticized Thune’s proposal, which he said would have hurt law enforcement and civilian Defense employees, and slashed Homeland Security and intelligence budgets.

“I support finding ways to make our government more efficient,” Baucus said. “But these cuts are arbitrary. They’re not thoughtful. They’re meat ax cuts.”


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  1. I agree with a Federal pay freeze to show empathy with our employers – US citizens. I’m not really a fan of 5% across the board cuts, even though that seems to be the only way to make agencies pay attention. I think that there is a still a lot of waste and inefficiencies in the way we perform our services. That should be the emphasis.

  2. @ T. Hill- Speak for yourself. Last year’s raise was nothing to write home about for federal employees. If we really want to emphasize wasteful spending through pay cuts, then how about demanding salary reductions from members of congress, first? Has anyone seen the size of their salaries, combined with their “spending/expense accounts”? Why should entry level and journeyman employees take the hit first? What happened to leadership by example?

  3. There are plenty of outlets for Congress to focus on in their effort to eliminate wasteful spending. Millions of dollars in ridiculous earmarks, wasteful programs, etc. As mentioned, would they consider limiting their own pay advancements and expense accounts? No – of course not – they are above us. It would take a $20K pay raise for me to make what my civilian counterpart makes in Tampa, and I also have more education than he does, so the nonsense about all Fed employees being over paid is just that – nonsense. Are some? Probably, ….but you can’t group us all together.

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