Obama Pay Freeze Plan Similar to Earlier Republican Suggestions

The Obama Administration's plan for a Federal Government pay freeze could be an effort to reach out to Republicans who have previously suggested similar cuts.

In late Spring, a number of congressional Republicans recommended a pay freeze for federal workers. But two in particular stand out: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Back in May the duo proposed an amendment that would have instituted a more comprehensive pay freeze that included bonuses for Federal employees as well as contractors. The plan included other Federal Government savings, but the pay and bonus freeze was its cornerstone.

McCain and Coburn estimated their plan would save approximately $2.6 billion. At the time, the two wanted to use the money to help cover the cost of a $60 billion war supplemental bill.

The Senate ultimately voted to stop debate on the amendment but six Democratic senators broke ranks, voting to continue debate on the measure.

In the House of Representatives, another plan to freeze federal pay was voted down. Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) brought that vote to the House floor after a federal pay freeze was suggested through his YouCut program. On the YouCut website, Cantor suggests five items on which to cut Congressional spending. People vote on where they'd like to see cuts and Cantor brings those suggestions to the House floor for votes.

Cantor issued a statement Monday noting how the YouCut proposal is similar to the president's plan. "I am encouraged by President Obama's proposal to freeze non-military federal pay for the next two years." Cantor's statement said. "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."

Fox Capitol Hill producers Trish Turner and Chad Pergram contributed to this story.

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