POLITICS

WH denounces bill to reverse Obama executive order raising federal employee pay

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama’s team denounced a bill that would reverse an executive order raising the salary of federal employees and officials such as Vice President Joe Biden, although the White House didn’t issue a veto threat.

“The President issued Executive Order 13635 to ensure that when this pay freeze expires, Federal employees would receive the increase proposed by the President without triggering the higher increase that would otherwise take place under statute,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a policy statement yesterday.  “This modest pay increase will help ensure that the Government remains competitive in attracting and retaining the Nationˈs best and brightest individuals for public service.”

The legislation “does NOT prevent federal employees from receiving bonuses, merit based pay increases, promotions, or even tenure based pay increases – commonly referred to as “step” increases,” according to a Republican fact sheet. “It simply prevents the President from implementing a planned across the board increase for all federal employees.” The fact sheet also points out that makes over $3,100 more than private sector counterparts.

Last week, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta proposed “that military salaries be limited to a one percent increase in 2014,” according to CNN, which added that Panetta’s proposal is “effectively decreasing troop salaries next year.”

“The President’s pay hike even increases the salary for federal employees who receive poor performance reviews from their own supervisors,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said when a group of lawmakers first introduced the bill. “As President Obama continues to say one thing and do another on deficit spending, it is appropriate for Congress to challenge his unilateral decision to spend $11 billion on non-merit based pay raises for federal workers.”

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