Last Friday Barack Obama caused quite a stir with his executive order that ended the freeze on wages for Congress and federal workers, giving them what amounted to an $11 billion pay raise. Among those getting more green was Vice President Joe Biden.
On Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that blocked the pay raise. The Hill reports,
The House approved legislation on Tuesday that would block a pay increase for federal workers and members of Congress scheduled to take place in March.
Members voted 287-129 in favor of the bill from Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). Just two Republicans opposed the legislation, and 55 Democrats supported it.
Republicans brought the bill up under a suspension of the rules in order to allow for quicker consideration, although that move also required a two-thirds majority vote.
The bill is a response to an executive order last Friday from President Obama that would end the two-year federal worker pay freeze, and increase congressional pay by about $1,000 for each member of the House and Senate.
GOP Eric Cantor (R-VA) tweeted:
The House of Representatives has just passed a Congressional pay freeze with H.R. 6726 in a 287-129 vote.#TCOT
— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) January 2, 2013
Ed O'Keefe wrote, "The GOP-backed bill introduced late Monday would freeze the salaries of lawmakers and the nation’s 2 million federal employees for the remainder of fiscal 2013. Currently, federal worker salaries are frozen through the end of a short-term spending agreement that expires in March. As part of efforts to curtail the deficit, federal employees have not seen a cost of living increase in their paychecks in more than three years."
According to Twitchy, Rep. Darell Issa's office (R-CA) issued a statement on the matter:
On a bi-partisan vote of 287-129 the House of Representatives approved H.R. 6726, a bill to overturn the President’s executive order that gave an across the board pay hike to Members of Congress and federal bureaucrats. The President’s executive order will cost taxpayers $11 billion over the next 10 years. The bill was introduced by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., led debate on the House Floor.
“The President, the Senate Majority, and the House Minority have not been able to agree to even the most meager spending cuts,” Issa said in the statement. “Yet the President’s executive order gives all members of Congress a salary hike on top of the $174,000 a year we already earn.”
The President’s executive order gave an across the board salary hike to white collar federal employees, whose average compensation exceeds $100,000. In January 2012, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a study which found that total compensation for federal employees was 16% greater than comparable private sector employees.
“The President’s across the board pay increase for white collar workers is not necessary to retain talented employees and just wastes taxpayer money,” Issa continued. “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.”
I'm just betting the Senate doesn't pass this measure. Wait and see. By the way, Obama doesn't seem to care, he split Washington to fly back to Hawaii as soon as the "deal was done" to finish up what will be a $7 million vacation at our expense.