Reaction to President Obama's Federal Pay Freeze Plan

Here are some reaction statements to President Obama's proposal to freeze the pay for some federal employees. Check back later for more reaction.

American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage on the pay freeze proposal. From a phone interview with Fox News Radio White House Correspondent Mike Majchrowitz.

"It seems like a P.R. stunt."

"Sacrifice is one thing and our federal employees do it all the time but the real problem we have is that it seems like a P.R. stunt."

"Cutting federal employee pay is really going to do nothing for the deficit but I just hate to see the President coming out and reinforcing this issue that federal employees are over-paid which is not true."

"What is going on in our country is really a jobs problem and an income problem and cutting wages just doesn't seem to be helpful."

"It doesn't seem to be part of any plan it just looks like a panic gesture and I am very disappointed with the administration."

"It's hard recruiting federal workers especially to get some of the top-notch candidates and when people see that there are going to be pay freezes and the pay is not going to be steady, I think it really hurts retention and recruitment."


Boehner Welcomes Pay Freeze, Calls For Further Action to Reduce Size & Cost of Gov't

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today regarding President Obama's announcement of a federal pay freeze:

"I welcome President Obama's announcement, and hope he will build on it by embracing much-needed steps to reduce both the size and the cost of government, including the net federal hiring freeze Republicans propose in our Pledge to America. Without a hiring freeze, a pay freeze won't do much to rein in a federal bureaucracy that added hundreds of thousands of employees to its payroll over the last two years while the private sector shed millions of jobs.

"Today's action is a clear indication that the Pledge to America, which lays out concrete steps to cut spending and reduce the size of government, is the right plan to address the people's priorities. Republicans and Democrats don't have to wait until January to cut spending and stop all the tax hikes. We can - and should - start right now."

NOTE: Boehner addressed the need for a federal pay freeze at a press conference earlier this month: "I believe strongly - and if you look at the Pledge to America - that there ought to be a freeze on the hiring of new federal employees, and frankly, we ought to freeze the pay." In May, House Democrats rejected a YouCut proposal to freeze federal civilian pay.


Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Pay Freeze for Federal Workers

November 29, 2010

Today's announcement of a two-year pay freeze for federal workers is bad for the middle class, bad for the economy and bad for business. No one is served by our government participating in a "race to the bottom" in wages. We need to invest in creating jobs, not undermining the ones we have. The President talked about the need for shared sacrifice, but there's nothing shared about Wall Street and CEOs making record profits and bonuses while working people bear the brunt. It is time to get our nation back on track, but we should not do so by placing an even greater burden on the middle class.


WASHINGTON, DC - Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding President Obama's proposed two-year Federal employee pay freeze:

"Millions of Americans are out of work, and many are tightening their belts; Federal employees must be no different. While I appreciate that the President reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years, it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between Federal civilian and military personnel--with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way. It would have also added an element of fairness: there has been parity between civilian and military pay raises for 22 of the past 28 years in which raises were authorized, and hundreds of thousands of Federal civilian employees work alongside military employees in the Department of Defense and other agencies. In fact, the first American casualty in Afghanistan was a CIA agent--a federal civilian employee."

In the coming days, I will review closely President Obama's proposal for its balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to recruit and retain a Federal workforce able to provide the level of service that the American people expect. Because meaningful deficit reduction cannot be achieved through a piecemeal approach to trimming federal spending, I am hopeful that the administration will propose a comprehensive and serious program for deficit reduction that recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach, as has been proposed by the President's Fiscal Commission, as well as outside groups like the Bipartisan Policy Center's Rivlin-Domenici Debt Reduction Task Force."


Issa on Federal Pay Freeze - Long Overdue but More Can be Done

WASHINGTON D.C. - Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released the following statement reacting to President Barack Obama's enactment of a two year freeze in civilian pay for federal employees:

"At a time when our nation's seniors have been denied a cost-of-living-increase and private sector hiring is stagnant, it is both necessary and quite frankly, long over-due to institute a pay-freeze for the federal workforce. As Republicans outlined in our Pledge to America there are a number of actions the President and Congress should immediately act on to demonstrate a real commitment to reigning in the excessive growth and spending of the federal government.

"To put this in perspective, the Obama Administration says this two-year pay freeze will save $2 billion, however, just last week, OMB released a report revealing that the federal government's improper payments for FY-2010 totaled $125 billion, $15 billion higher than the previous year. It is unthinkable that we have come to accept having a bureaucracy that has institutionalized waste, fraud and abuse to the point where $125 billion in improper payments were made last year. The first place we should look to make progress on higher costs, increased debt and a stagnant economy is look inward at how taxpayer dollars are being spent and doing more to ensure that tens of billions of dollars are no longer erroneously paid out."In their Pledge to America, Republicans proposed a number of actions to put government on a path to a balanced budget and to reign in the deficit:

§ Cut government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels

§ Establish a hard cap on new discretionary spending

§ Reduce Congress' budget

§ Hold weekly votes on spending cuts

§ End TARP once and for all

§ Address government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

§ Impose a net federal hiring freeze of non-security employees

§ Root out government waste and sunset outdated and duplicative programs

§ Reform the budget process

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Cantor on President Obama's Federal Pay Freeze Announcement

Washington, D.C. - House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today issued the following statement after President Obama announced a two-year freeze on civilian pay for federal employees.

"I am encouraged by President Obama's proposal to freeze non-military federal pay for the next two years. This past May, House Republicans-prompted by YouCut voters-offered the very same spending-cut proposal on the floor of the House. The YouCut proposal was one of many specific spending reductions offered by House Republicans over the past two years, and we are pleased that President Obama appears ready to join our efforts. As the recent election made clear, Americans are fed up with a government that spends too much, borrows too much and grows too much.

"Many federal employees do important work, but this is exactly the kind of savings measure we have to make in order to begin to restore some fiscal sanity in America, especially considering recent reports of federal salaries significantly outpacing private-sector salaries. With so many Americans tightening their belts, Washington must do the same.

"I hope that Democrats who are concerned about the debt and America's dire long-term financial health will join House Republicans in embracing President Obama's proposal and other YouCuts going forward. We have to work together if we want to transform the culture of spending in Washington into one of savings." ###

Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.