Bill Would Cut Fed Workforce by 10 Percent in Three Years

“It’s no accident that we’ve racked up $16 trillion in debt,” Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., the bill’s author, said in a statement. “It’s no accident that we’ve racked up $16 trillion in debt,” Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., the bill’s author, said in a statement. Flickr user republicanconference

A Republican lawmaker has proposed a bill to cut the federal workforce by ten percent in three years, claiming the move would save $35 billion over five years.

The Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act proposes to limit new hires to one employee for every three that retire or leave.

“It’s no accident that we’ve racked up $16 trillion in debt; Washington simply doesn’t know how or when to stop spending, growing and borrowing,” Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., the bill’s author, said in a statement. “Instead of blindly filling empty desks, my bill forces agencies to take a step back, consider which positions are crucial, and make decisions based on necessity rather than luxury.”

The bill includes a provision to institute an automatic hiring freeze at any agency not meeting the hiring ratio. To ensure vacated positions are not instead filled with service contracts, the legislation prohibits increases in contracted employees unless a cost comparison demonstrates savings to the government.

It also allows the president to override the attrition goal for a “state of war, national security, or an extraordinary emergency threatening life, health, safety or property.”

This is not the first time Lummis has proposed to cut the federal workforce; in both 2010 and 2011, she sponsored bills to reduce the number of federal employees through attrition, although those bills allowed for a more generous ratio of one hire for every two who leave federal service. Neither bill made it out of committee. 

(Image via Flickr user republicanconference)

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