Panel considers bill to shrink federal workforce through attrition

None Douglas Graham/Newscom
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday plans to mark up a bill (H.R. 3029) that aims to reduce the federal workforce through attrition by 10 percent by 2015.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., the bill's sponsor, estimates the legislation will save $139 billion over the next decade. The measure calls for hiring one federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job.

H.R. 3029 would make exceptions for certain national security concerns or any event that threatens public health or safety. The attrition policy would stay in effect through Sept. 30, 2014. The proposal also includes a provision that limits procurement on service contracts to supplement the reduced workforce "except in cases in which a cost comparison demonstrates that such contracts would be to the financial advantage of the government."

This is not the first such bill introduced during this Congress. In June, Rep. Darrell Issa, sponsored a measure with the same language along with fellow Republican Reps. Dennis Ross of Florida and Jason Chaffetz of Utah. Mulvaney introduced his bill, which Issa, Chaffetz and Ross are co-sponsoring, in response to results from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's YouCut program. The Virginia Republican created the program to allow the public to vote online or by cellphone for spending cuts they would like to see lawmakers shepherd in Congress. Reducing the federal workforce through attrition was one of the initiatives under consideration on the YouCut website.

Federal employee unions this week sent letters to committee members urging them to vote against the bill. "Arbitrarily reducing the number of federal employees without also reducing the services they provide can't help but lead to wasteful privatization," Beth Moten, legislative and political director at the American Federation of Government Employees, stated in a Nov. 2 letter to Chairman Issa and ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

Reducing the federal workforce through attrition was also a recommendation of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission, created by President Obama and led by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson from Wyoming and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

During an Oct. 26 hearing of the joint congressional super committee on deficit reduction, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf mentioned the effect a smaller federal workforce could have on government operations. "Having fewer federal workers would probably lower the levels of service that federal agencies provide to the public, unless cuts in the agencies' workforces were accompanied by actions to enhance productivity," he said.

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
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

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