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Fitzpatrick Pushes Bill Blocking Congressional Pay Raise

The Bucks County congressman's bill stopping an approved federal employee pay raise has passed in the House.

 

A bill blocking a congressional and civilian federal employee pay raise introduced by Bucks County Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick was approved in the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. on Monday.

Fitzpatrick’s GOP-backed bill was approved in the House by a vote of 287-129. The Washington Post reported 55 Democrats voted with their GOP counterparts to approve the bill.

The legislation rescinds the congressional and civilian federal employee pay raise that President Obama approved in the final days of 2012. The president’s approved executive order gave all non-military federal employees a cost of living pay increase starting March 27; something they have not seen in three years.

If approved by the Senate and president, the Fitzpatrick bill would keep the pay freeze in effect for the rest of 2013.

"At a time when American families are tightening their belts and businesses are reducing salaries to make ends meet, I believe that the federal government must lead by example," Fitzpatrick said in a statement issued when he was introducing the bill on Monday.

Fitzpatrick asked in the statement what message the public would get if congress people got a raise while “private sector and small businesses are being asked to sacrifice.”

A January 2012 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found pay and benefit compensation for civilian federal employees was 16 percent greater than people holding similar positions in the private sector.

“Federal employees have continued to receive promotions and within-grade pay increases over the past few years of the supposed ‘pay freeze,’ and voluntary separations from the federal government are near all-time lows,” outspoken California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa said in a statement.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci and several other lawmakers all introduced similar legislation to reinstate the federal pay freeze for all members of congress and the vice president.

Rep. John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat, made headlines when he became one of the first of his party to support blocking the pay freeze. He said, “Too many families face uncertainty in the New Year for Congress to get a bonus.”

The current federal employee pay freeze was extended until March 27 by Obama in December.

Joan L January 04, 2013 at 01:31 AM
If you want to freeze Congressional pay, go ahead. The civilian federal government employees have already tightened their belts more than you ever will. They go to work every day and do their jobs which is more than I can say for Congress!
Florence Richards January 04, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Close but no cigar to this resolution! Congressional salaries can take a freeze or deduction but not the rank & file who are struggling to make ends meet. In this case Congressman Fitzpatrick speak for yourself but not for the constituents who voted you into office.
jan vogel-manz January 04, 2013 at 01:16 PM
I agree with Congressman Fitzpatrick! They should lead by example! What arrogance, for President Obama to approve a pay raise while sticking it to the rest of us! At least one responsible voice from a do nothing congress is one light in the vast darkness.
Susan Gibbons January 04, 2013 at 01:55 PM
The federal workers should not be penalized, as it is they and everyone else who works for a paycheck will be taking home less pay this year as the "payroll holiday" enacted 2 years ago by the president was ended with the fiscal cliff vote. That can be considered a tax increase albeit restoring the tax rate that previously existed. So the Middle Class is still getting screwed. He voted yes on the fiscal bill which gave tax breaks to the middle class but raises it for the wealthy and that was something he said he would not do. Now he has to deal with his minions many of whom are angry. This bill sticking it to federal workers is his way to appease his minions and supporters. I think congress is over paid and should not be getting benefits at all. Time to make them independent contractors. Give them a fixed amount of money as compensation, if congress wants to set an example it should not be by screwing the federal workers, it should be by CUTTING their own income. That is how an example is set. Not taking a raise means nothing. They are way over paid to begin with.
elle January 04, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Good job ! Federal employees are a bunch of maggots!
Longtime Resident January 04, 2013 at 04:15 PM
I agree 100% with the bill as stated. Did you not read that the federal employees are still making 16% more than civilians with the same jobs. Do you not know that the benefit package that federal employees get is something that you in private industry will never see. Do you not know that the pensions that federal employees receive are guaranteed even in a bad economy while your pensions reduce as the economy drops. Wake up.
citik January 04, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Longtime Resident and Elle - as an employee of the government, I want to explain something with regard to the "guaranteed pension". The government changed that pension system in 1985, before I was hired. Just like people in the private sector, I pay social security and contribute to the government version of a 401K. There is some small percentage of a pension I'll get, I believe it's a couple percent of my salary. I'm not going to get 80% of my salary when I retire. As for the 16% more than civilians I supposedly make, I'd like to know how. From examples of private industry that I've seen, I make less. As for the "bunch of maggots", there are some lazy people that I work with, but they are few and far between. The frustrating thing about those people is how the union protects them and they are the only ones you ever hear about. I'd love to see a few people fired, but it will never happen. I'm fortunate to have a job, I know that. I'm thankful for that job and the salary it provides. Please try not to paint all federal employees with the same brush. I'm sure you have worked with people that didn't exemplify the best work ethic either.
elle January 04, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I know how federal employees operate ! They do the least amount of work possible .
Sharon January 04, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I have a few friends that are federal employees. My best friend works at the federal courts in center city. I have seen her salary. By the time she is done paying for transportation to and from work either via train or driving (and parking when she drives), and many other expenses that many other people have plus addional expenses considering she has a very important role, it shows that i pretty much make the same thing as her when all our expenses are compared. Yes dollar amounts are like $5 to $7 different but they have more expensive expenses then the average worker. As for doing the least amount of work, every where you go you will get the same thing...people bust their asses to get stuff done while others sit on their thumb. and basically those "lazy" ones are the ones who had everything handed to them in life. and the ones who do best worked for everything they have. To to call my Best friend a maggot for being a federal employee knowing she is gone 14 hours of the day due to traveling and just making it home to see her son for dinner and then bed time, you my friend have a lot of nerve!
Longtime Resident January 04, 2013 at 05:59 PM
There are bad employees every where and I never even painted the picture of federal employees that way. You may not have the same golden package as the more long term government employees but your benefits are far superior to the public sector. I don’t know about all government employees but as for the 401(k) I have read about tax dollars going to restore lost value due to poor market performance.
Part of the Solution January 04, 2013 at 06:11 PM
The bottom line is the federal government, much like alot of small and medium sized businesses in America just doesn't have the money to fund pay increases. I don't believe that everyone that works for the government is lazy, and as "citik" said above, there are people all over - from the gorcery store to fast food, from a small office to a large corporation, that have a less than stellar work ethic. Name calling is never appropriate. It doesn't matter who you work for, good employees deserve to be compensated appropriately, sadly there is just no money for it.
Caite620 January 04, 2013 at 06:34 PM
I work for the Government. I agree with citik 100%. Don't assume you know all. I pay for my benefits out of my check, I pay into social security just like the rest of you. And as previously stated in the comments above I put into the government's version of a 401k and will get a pension sure, but it won't be anything amazing, otherwise why have the 401k? Saying that you "know how government employees work" is bull and you know it. Get off your high horse. I bust my ass day in and day out and by saying we're all the same is stereotyping. All you're doing is making yourself look like a jerk. Sure there are people in my office who "skate" by doing barely anything because they think they are untouchable and can't be fired. WHAT OFFICE DOESNT HAVE THOSE PEOPLE? I for one am not one of them. And resent your statements. Since you all seem to think you know more about the "benefits" I receive as a government employee why don't you come take a look at the "packages" we receive, I may have "better" benefits as far as what the insurance companies will pay but I'm also paying for them just like you. Seems to me you're a bit bitter, guess you didn't get the job after the government interview?
Caite620 January 04, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Well said!
Longtime Resident January 04, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Citik / Caite620 I resent being grouped in with elle and associated with the comments that he/she made. I never called names or commented on the work ethic of government employees. I did say that you will find less then stellar employees where ever you look (not just government or union employees). They get the bad reputation because they are brought to the public view more. Because in most cases it is harder to remove them from their position then a non-union private sector position.
Joe Albin January 04, 2013 at 07:14 PM
All the members of Congress are useless, as you can see by the work they do or should I say don't do. They should all take a pay cut and give up all benefits and perks. They should pay for their own healthcare and lifetime perks be taken away.
uncle sam January 04, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Longtime Resident - I am also a Federal employee. I'm not sure where you read about 401(k) accounts being "reimbursed" to restore lost value. That is untrue - there is not a shred of truth to that statement.
uncle sam January 04, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Longtime Resident - I am a Federal employee. Since you know so much about my benefits package please tell me what I get. Also, we do not make 16% more than civilians. The maximum salary allowed in the Philadelphia area on the General Schedule is $155,500. It takes decades to get to that point and you must be a very high level manager. So, no lawyers make more than that amount. No Ph.D. scientists, engineers, or accountants make that amount. Try and find me a lawyer with 20 - 30 years experience who doesn't make $150k? Find me a P4 manager at an engineering firm who doesn't make $150k. Be educated before you make blanket statements.
Michelle January 30, 2013 at 01:55 PM
I am more worried about the money that the Kartrashians make than what federal/state/local government employees get per paycheck.

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