Last Friday President Obama caused quite a stir with his executive order that ended the freeze on wages for Congress and federal workers, amounted to an $11 billion pay raise overall.
On Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that blocked the pay raise.
The Hill reports:
“The House approved legislation on Tuesday that would block a pay increase for federal workers and members of Congress scheduled to take place in March.
“Members voted 287-129 in favor of the bill from Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). Just two Republicans opposed the legislation, and 55 Democrats supported it.
“Republicans brought the bill up under a suspension of the rules in order to allow for quicker consideration, although that move also required a two-thirds majority vote.
“The bill is a response to an executive order last Friday from President Obama that would end the two-year federal worker pay freeze, and increase congressional pay by about $1,000 for each member of the House and Senate.”
Ed Oâ€™Keefe wrote, â€œThe GOP-backed bill introduced late Monday would freeze the salaries of lawmakers and the nationâ€™s 2 million federal employees for the remainder of fiscal 2013. Currently, federal worker salaries are frozen through the end of a short-term spending agreement that expires in March. As part of efforts to curtail the deficit, federal employees have not seen a cost of living increase in their paychecks in more than three years.â€
Rep. Darell Issaâ€™s office (R-CA) issued a statement on the matter:
“On a bi-partisan vote of 287-129 the House of Representatives approved H.R. 6726, a bill to overturn the Presidentâ€™s executive order that gave an across the board pay hike to Members of Congress and federal bureaucrats. The Presidentâ€™s executive order will cost taxpayers $11 billion over the next 10 years. The bill was introduced by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., led debate on the House Floor.
â€œThe President, the Senate Majority, and the House Minority have not been able to agree to even the most meager spending cuts,â€ Issa said in the statement. â€œYet the Presidentâ€™s executive order gives all members of Congress a salary hike on top of the $174,000 a year we already earn.â€
The Presidentâ€™s executive order gave an across the board salary hike to white collar federal employees, whose average compensation exceeds $100,000. In January 2012, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a study which found that total compensation for federal employees was 16% greater than comparable private sector employees.
â€œThe Presidentâ€™s across the board pay increase for white collar workers is not necessary to retain talented employees and just wastes taxpayer money,â€ Issa continued. â€œFederal employees have continued to receive promotions and within-grade pay increases over the past few years of the supposed â€˜pay freeze,â€™ and voluntary separations from the federal government are near all-time lows.â€
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it is likely to die rather than come up for a vote.