The House Rules Committee will meet Wednesday afternoon to consider a bill that would extend the pay freeze through the rest of 2013.
HR 273 — sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and 27 other Republican lawmakers — would cancel the 0.5 percent pay raise now scheduled to go into effect at the end of March.
And one proposed amendment to the bill — introduced by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Geo. — would go even further, and freeze pay until the end of 2014. That would mean a four-year pay scale freeze for federal employees.
Federal employee groups denounced the bill.
“A vote in favor of HR 273 is a vote to continue the freeze on pay for those who guard our borders, ensure that food supplies and medicines are safe, and provide services to your constituents every day,” National Treasury Employees Union National President Colleen Kelley said in a letter to House members Tuesday. “America’s workforce lives with constant threats of government shutdowns and furloughs and [agencies have]fewer and fewer resources as a result of budget cuts. Despite what supporters of this proposal may say about respecting the work of federal employees, blocking a modest pay raise of 0.5 percent for dedicated public servants who are working under a 27-month pay freeze sends quite the opposite message — that neither they nor their work are viewed as important to our nation.”
Joseph Beaudoin, national president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, called the bill “nothing more than another direct attack on hardworking public servants.”