Senate Committee Approves Measure to Rein in Excessive Contractor Executive Pay


One of the major headlines in the federal workforce community in recent months was the decision to increase reimbursement rates for top government contractor executives by tens of thousands of dollars – $70,000 over the last two years, to be exact.

Outrage ensued as federal employees trapped in a two-year pay freeze learned that contractor executives were eligible to personally draw upwards of $763,029 from the taxpayers in addition to the charges for services rendered by their companies.

This week, it appears that some in Congress are finally ready to do something about it.

Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to the National Defense Authorization Act that would cap contractor executives’ salary reimbursements at $230,700 per year – the same as the Vice President. Though a similar piece of legislation failed in the House of Representatives earlier this year, there is still a possibility that the provision will find its way into the final version of the bill.

“It is grossly unfair that federal employees are forced to take cuts to their pay and retirement benefits while federal contractor executives make off like bandits on the taxpayers dime,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “Federal workers have sacrificed all they can to improve our nation’s fiscal situation. It’s time for shared sacrifice, especially from those who can most afford it.”

Here are some statistics to demonstrate just how out of touch the reimbursement cap is: $763,029 is nearly twice President Obama’s $400,000 per year salary. If you collect the maximum reimbursement you are earning $1.45 per minute, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. You can also buy nineteen 2012 Mercedes Benz luxury cars, or seventy-six 1.5 carat diamond engagement rings. Not bad for a year’s work.

“What angers me most is that the members of Congress that are supporting this gross overpayment, mainly Congressional Republicans, are the same lawmakers saying we have to cut federal workers pay and pensions because of the budget deficit,” said NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin. “They are clearly playing favorites, and the result is that middle class federal workers have to pay for it. This kind of lawmaking must come to an end. We must hold them accountable.”