The House on Friday voted to freeze all federal pay, much to the chagrin of President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded,” Rep. Pelosi said Thursday.
This is the third year in a row the House has voted to freeze federal pay.
“Members voted 261-154 in favor of the bill, which would also lock in a pay freeze for members of Congress. It exempts people serving in the military,” according to The Hill. “The bill won significant support from Democrats — 43 voted for it — while 10 Republicans voted against it.”
The bill goes against President Obama’s December executive order that calls for a 0.5 percent pay increase for all federal workers. House Republicans attacked the executive order, arguing that pay increases are to be decided by Congress and not the executive branch.
Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that the bill is necessary to keep the rising cost of government in check.
“It is a small price to pay, consistent with the President’s previous pay freeze, to hold pay increases of federal employees for one more year,” said Rep. Issa.
“We could do this today, or we could cut the National Institutes of Health. We could do this today, or we could park two or three of our aircraft carriers and lay off the crew,” he added.
Still, the Obama administration on Wednesday vowed to fight the bill, saying that the pay increase would “help ensure that the government remains competitive in attracting and retaining the Nation’s best and brightest individuals for public service.”
Now what’s really interesting is the fact that the White House did not specifically threaten to veto the bill. But you know what? It doesn’t need to: There’s no way it’s going to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.
However, should it pass, the bill “also freezes the pay of members of Congress. Democrats charged that Republicans included that language just to ensure support for the bill, and argued that there has been no threat to increasing the pay of members of Congress for the last few years,” The Hill notes.
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