Lawmaker revives proposal to cut jobs, extend pay freeze

A Republican lawmaker is seeking a 10 percent cut in the federal workforce and a three-year freeze on civilian salaries.

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas late last week introduced the 2011 Cut Unsustainable and Top-Heavy Spending Act (H.R. 235), which supports recommendations from President Obama's fiscal commission charged with reforming federal spending. Panel leaders in November 2010 unveiled a draft series of proposals to curtail government spending. The final plan, released on Dec. 1, did not pass a commission vote.

The bill would reduce spending by $153 billion over five years, according to Brady.

"Our nation's budget is out of control. We need to take strong actions today to get it back on track," he said in a statement. "Both Republicans and Democrats on the deficit commission agreed these cuts need to be made, so let's make a down payment on restoring our nation to a balanced budget and leaner government."

The legislation includes provisions reducing the government workforce by 10 percent, or 200,000 employees, by hiring two workers for every three who leave. And it would hold level civilian pay at all agencies, including the Defense Department, for three years. Federal employees already are facing a two-year salary freeze.

The measure also would cut Defense's fiscal 2011 procurement budget by 15 percent and eliminate wasteful spending on nonessential federal travel by cutting 20 percent of nondefense-, nonsecurity- and nonemergency-related costs at each agency.

In language independent of the deficit commission's recommendations, Brady's bill would require the Internal Revenue Service to collect $962 million in unpaid taxes from nearly 100,000 federal civilian employees. Factoring in retirees and military personnel, savings would jump to $3 billion. The proposal does not, however, go as far as recent legislation to fire federal workers with tax debt.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley criticized the bill, which she said would leave agencies understaffed and underfunded.

"This legislation includes draconian measures that undermine the federal workforce," Kelley said. "This bill would reduce federal agencies' abilities to meet their missions and would likely result in administrative delays, fewer staff to handle increasing workloads, longer phone waits and lines, and fewer resources to handle everything from food safety to social security disability claims."

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

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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