House Majority Passes Budget Bill Targeting Federal Pay, Retirement; Democrats Unanimously Oppose

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(National Federation of Federal Employees)

Friday, House Republicans passed a budget plan for fiscal year 2012 with all but four Republicans and without the support of a single Democrat. The budget includes provisions that would freeze federal employees’ pay through 2015, require federal employees to contribute much more to their retirement plans, and reduce the federal workforce 10 percent by 2014 through “a gradual...attrition policy” which would limit agencies' ability to hire by replacing every three retirees with only one new hire. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) claims the changes would save $375 billion over ten years and bring federal employee compensation into line with the private sector.


Despite agencies warning that significant understaffing is already hampering their ability to carry out their missions, the measure advanced by House Republicans Friday will make the problem much worse. Though broad-based workforce reductions may sound fiscally responsible in theory, in practice they have a much more sobering reality. This proposal means hiring one doctor or nurse caring for our veterans for every three lost; one border patrol agent fighting drug and human trafficking for every three lost; one wildland firefighter saving homes and business out West for every three lost; and one passport worker who prevents international criminals and terrorists from entering our country for every three lost. These workers provide essential services to our nation, and this budget’s arbitrary attrition proposal would severely hamstring the federal government from providing carrying out its most critical missions. 


Furthermore, the claim that freezing federal pay, eliminating automatic step increases and requiring federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans would bring federal compensation into line with the private sector is intentionally misleading. Individuals who subscribe to this belief are comparing apples to oranges. In fact, employees of the federal government earn less compensation than comparable employees in the private sector.


The reality is this: House Republicans’ justification for this budget does not match the facts. This budget has nothing to do with sensibly cutting the budget, and instead makes federal employees easy scapegoats to score cheap political points. Reductions in federal employee compensation would only bring federal employees further behind their private sector counterparts than they already are, while workforce reductions would simply deprive Americans of essential services that do not need to be cut. There is a sensible approach to reducing the deficit, and there is a nonsensical approach to reducing the deficit. House Republicans voted on Friday for the nonsensical approach, and not a single House Democrat joined them.


Lynn   05/17/11 12:26 pm
Federal employees are not overpaid by any means. We are understaffed and overworked. The retiring federal community has failed to realize that by hiring 1 employee for every three is going to be a delicate house of cards which will collapse. They want to hire 20 to 30 year olds starting out their life with a family/children, expecting them to work 60 hours a week all the while the Social Security Administration tells us that we will now have to work until we are 68/70 years old and that for every $1000 we were originally promised we will now only receive $770 of it. The federal government will create burn out across all agencies. Also how does a Contracting Officer negotiate a fair and reasonable contract if they don't have time to read the spec or look at the proposal. How is that going to save money or lower the budget? Currently we don't have time to catch all the errors and we have to dodge jedi mindtricks on a daily basis. If the government wants to cut spending they need to cut money being spent on enabling the American people and weakening our gene pool. If my pay is cut there is no way in hell I'd do this stressful job. I'll quit, go take a retail job where I only pay 2% taxes and I can keep my sanity and my adrenal glands functioning!!!

Steve Verrill   04/25/11 2:56 pm
Response to Sonia
Hi Sonia,


Are federal workers overpaid?

You will see an article by


sonja weber   04/25/11 12:55 pm
While I agree with the spirit of this article, it would be nice to see the data to support the author's contention that comparing federal and private salaries are "comparing apples to oranges". Why? What makes them different? And what is the data that shows federal job salaries to be lagging behind equivalent jobs in private industry? While I do have the sense that the rhetoric about federal employees being overpaid is based on sand, I don't have the facts to back that up in a conversation where others disagree. It would be nice if you provided facts to back up your thoughts....otherwise they show up as merely rhetoric - of which we have enough on TV shows purporting to be news shows. Which, I think, is not your intent. P.S. Thank you, Cory for providing the information on employee pay talking points under the members only link. Maybe all you need here is a link to that reference for those who can access it. Thanks for listening.

Andy   04/25/11 12:51 pm
The facts be damned! Who needs them anyway. I've got my ideas about those fat-cat federal employees and don't try to sway me into thinking otherwise. I'll just continue to "shoot from the hip", thank you. Apples/oranges... /s/ Repub

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