WASHINGTON House conservatives want to extend to a full three years the current freeze on cost-of-living pay increases for the nation’s 2 million civilian federal workers.
They say that blocking a modest raise proposed by President Barack Obama for the last nine months of this year will save $11 billion over the long run and that well-compensated federal employees can afford it.
Democrats, and a few Republicans, say federal workers have already done more than their fair share in helping reduce the federal deficit and they are being singled out for punishment by anti-government lawmakers.
The House on Thursday took up legislation by freshman Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., that would block the 0.5 percent pay increase Obama ordered in December and scheduled to go into effect at the end of March. DeSantis said federal spending is out of control and his bill “tackles Congress and our bloated federal government head-on.”
His bill would affect across-the-board pay increases but not merit and longevity raises.
The GOP-led House is expected to pass the bill on Friday, but it’s likely to receive a cold reception in the Democratic-controlled Senate.