UPDATED: As expected, the bill extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance easily passed Congress today. Federal unions, employee groups, and fed-friendly lawmakers are enraged, however, because the bill would drastically hike future feds’ pension contributions from 0.8 percent to 3.1 percent.
The bill would also make future lawmakers and their staffs receive the same pension rate as everyday feds. But Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., who has been pushing hard to cut Congress’ more-generous pensions and increase feds’ retirement contributions, voted against the bill. Said Ross:
We should stop congressional pension perks because it is the right thing to do, not to pay for something else. We should require federal workers to join the rest of America and actually pay something for their pensions because it is the right thing to do, not to pay for something else.
The House this morning approved it 293 to 132, and the Senate soon followed, passing it 60 to 36. It now heads to President Obama for his signature.