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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Obama proposes two-year pay freeze for federal workers

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced Monday that he wants to freeze pay for federal employees for the next two years, a move his team says would save more than $5 billion through 2012.

    “”The hard truth is, getting this budget under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by employees of the federal government,”” the president said. “”After all, small businesses and families are tightening their belts. … Their government should, too.””

    The freeze would not apply to military personnel but to all other civilian employees on the federal payroll. Congress would have to approve the proposal in order for it to take effect.

    The plan is part of Obama’s effort to contain the $1.3 trillion federal deficit, and will be followed by more proposals for spending reductions over the next few months, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said Monday morning.

    The president’s announcement lands as a pre-emptive strike on congressional Republicans, who are preparing a plan to slash federal pay and workforce next year. It comes in advance of a meeting between the Democratic president and GOP leaders at the White House on Tuesday.

    “”Clearly, this is a difficult decision,”” said Jeffrey Zients, Obama’s chief performance officer and the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy director for management.

    Federal employees are hard working, he said, and “”central to delivering services to the American people. We believe it’s the first of many difficult steps ahead … to put our nation on sound fiscal footing.””

    In other steps aimed at reining in the deficit, Obama has previously frozen salaries for senior White House officials and proposed doing the same for all political appointees across the government.

    His administration also is working on cleaning out what it calls “”excesses”” in federal contracting and on reducing loss through improper payments. Obama has also directed federal agencies to dispose of excess real estate.

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