Lawmaker seeks federal hiring freeze

A House lawmaker reintroduced a bill late last week that would freeze hiring governmentwide except at the Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs departments.

The Federal Workforce Reduction Act would reduce the size of the federal workforce by attrition: only one hire for every two employees who retire or leave service. It also would require agencies to justify their new hires and the administration to disclose all new employees by agency. The president would be able to hire an employee in the interest of national security or in the event of an "extraordinary emergency," according to the bill. The freeze would stay in effect until the federal deficit is resolved, according to the legislation.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., the bill's sponsor, introduced the same legislation last year.

Lummis said the bill "aggressively halts the sprawl of government; forces agency heads to make government more efficient; and helps us get back to a people-centered, not government-centered America." The GOP and the federal deficit commission have called on the Obama administration to reduce the civilian head count by up to 15 percent through attrition.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley called the legislation "misguided," saying, "Rather than address the nation's deficit, this bill would force agencies to rely more heavily on unaccountable and expensive private contractors, resulting in higher costs to taxpayers, poor services and questionable transactions."

The Wyoming Republican introduced the legislation just days before President Obama released his fiscal 2012 budget, which proposes increasing federal employment next year by as many as 15,000 new civilian employees. There are about 2.1 million workers in the federal government.

The budget request proposes that most of the new employees go to security agencies. The bump would come on the heels of a decrease in federal employment this year, meaning that even if lawmakers enacted Obama's proposal, government would still have 12,000 fewer civilian employees in fiscal 2012 than in fiscal 2010.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.