President Obama today recommended a two-year freeze on the pay of all 1.4 million civilian federal employees in a move the White House projects will ultimately save more than $60 billion.
"This two-year (2011 - 2012) pay freeze will save $2 billion for the remainder of FY 2011, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years," states a White House Fact Sheet on the pay freeze.
The freeze, if approved by Congress, will apply to all civilian federal employees, including employees of the Department of Defense, but not to military personnel, and will not impact federal workers' step increases or bonuses, according to the White House.
"This was a decision that was not made lightly," stated the White House. "From the doctors and nurses who care for our veterans to the scientists searching for better treatments and cures, the men and women who care for our national parks, and the thousands who make sure that the Social Security check is in the mail and that students get their scholarships, federal workers serve their fellow Americans."
In September 2009, Obama cut the FY 2010 pay increases scheduled for most federal government employees from as much as 18.9 percent to no more than 2.0 percent. In addition, the salaries of all senior White House officials have been frozen since President Obama took office in 2009.
What About Congress? Members of Congress have already voted - for the second year in row - not to accept their automatic cost-of-living increase for FY 2011. The last time lawmakers accepted the increase -- in 2009 -- their base annual salary went up $174,000, where it will remain at least through 2011.