WASHINGTON- On a bi-partisan vote of 309-117 the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3835, a bill to extend the pay freeze for Members of Congress and federal employees by one year. The bill was introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy led debate on the House Floor.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., issued the following statement applauding the bill’s passage:
“The Oversight Committee has been reviewing federal compensation issues since March of last year, and has worked to bring forward solutions addressing the inequity between compensation of federal employees and private sector workers who make comparably less. I congratulate Rep. Duffy for introducing this bill and Chairman Ross for his steadfast leadership on this issue at the Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce. This legislation offers important, justified, and bipartisan solutions to save taxpayers money. I urge President Obama and the Senate to embrace this bipartisan cost savings measure.”
On Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a study, which found that total compensation for federal employees was 16% greater than for comparable private sector employees.
The CBO study also found that:
• Benefits were 48% more costly for federal employees than private sector employees.
• Highly-skilled employees (with a professional degree or PhD) were the only employees compensated less than their private sector counterparts.
• Taking benefits out of the equation, federal employees made 2% more than private sector workers at large companies and 9% more than private sector workers overall.
Chairman Ross’ subcommittee first studied this issue at a March 2011 hearing, leading the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to recommend the extension of the pay freeze. The House had previously approved an extension of the pay freeze twice, first in the FY2012 budget resolution and then again in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act approved in December.