Known as the federal pay freeze bill, the first piece of legislation drafted by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan 261-154 vote Friday – with 43 Democrats voting for the bill. Officially known as H.R. 273, the bill overturns an executive order issued by President Obama that implemented across-the-board pay hikes for non-military federal employees, including members of Congress, members of the president’s Cabinet and even the vice president. It is estimated the bill will save taxpayers $11 billion in new spending over 10 years.
DeSantis’ office released the following statement:
“When American families are tightening their belts in order to make ends meet, the federal government must do the same,” said Rep. DeSantis. “The bipartisan passage of this bill is a great step toward tackling our fiscal deficiencies and Obama’s overspending head-on. This bill is not a reflection of the fine work done by many federal employees, but is simply a recognition of our current fiscal situation. I’m proud my very first piece of legislation proves the U.S. House is serious about putting our nation on a sustainable fiscal path.”
“Congressman DeSantis has shown great leadership with this bill. He understands that Washington should be focused on helping families get on solid financial footing, not giving Members of Congress, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other civilian federal employees an across-the-board pay raise at the expense of hard working taxpayers. I applaud Congressman DeSantis for his work to get our nation’s spending under control,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
“Federal employees are on average compensated 16% more than their private sector counterparts. In fact, during the so-called ‘pay freeze’ federal employee pay has gone up by $3,328 while private sector pay has gone up only $1,404. The federal employee attrition rate is the same now as it was before the so-called ‘pay freeze.’ Nearly half-a-million federal employees make more than $100,000 per year. If President Obama does not get serious about finding spending cuts to avoid his sequestration, many federal employees will be furloughed, resulting in an actual reduction in compensation and harm to productivity,” said Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.
“Compensation for government employment must bear at least some relationship to the private sector economy that pays the taxes necessary to support it,” added Rep. DeSantis. “As a former active duty Navy officer who worked closely with many fine civilian employees, and now as a Member of Congress, I respect and appreciate the hard work of all our public servants. However, during these challenging times, all of us, private and public sector alike, especially Members of Congress, must make sacrifices in order to reduce spending, not increase it.”
This common sense legislation was supported by 45 co-sponsors as well as conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and FreedomWorks.
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