House Votes to Extend Pay Freeze

By on January 1, 2013 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 146 Comments

Don’t spend your 2013 pay raise just yet – the House voted Tuesday to block the scheduled 0.5% pay raise set to take place after March 27, 2013 that was formalized via executive order last week (to see 2013 annual salaries, be sure to check the GS pay calculator).

The bill that passed the Senate as part of the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations blocks the pay raise for members of Congress, an idea which has gained bipartisan popularity in the last few days.

The House bill took the idea a step further and would freeze not only pay for Congress but also for federal employees by blocking the 0.5% pay increase set to take effect in the spring, effectively extending the pay freeze from the last two years through the end of 2013.

“It’s not how hard they [federal employees] work, it’s what can the American people afford,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). He also added, “Currently, federal workers receive typically over $100,000, and are about 16 percent higher compensated than their private-sector counterparts.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said, “House Republicans continued their attack on hardworking federal employees by bringing to the Floor a bill that would extend the pay freeze on civilian federal employees for another year. I strongly oppose such a move – which, fortunately, has no chance of passing the Senate – because middle-class federal employees have already contributed nearly $90 billion toward deficit reduction through reduced pay and pension benefits at a time when other groups have not been asked to contribute.”

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) added, “Federal employees have contributed now over $100 billion toward deficit reduction. They’ve had their pay frozen for two years, this will be a third year. New hires are going to have to contribute four times as much into their pension as they would have to today. So they’re really being made a scapegoat.”

Federal employee unions were also quick to decry the measure. “Reducing the salaries of federal workers through an extended pay freeze is a cheap political ploy,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

Negotiations are still ongoing, so details on this and other terms of any agreement are likely to change over the next few days, but we will continue to post any new developments as they become available.

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the web site and its sibling sites.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

146 Replies

Comments RSS

  1. bkNH says:

    I have a great idea, lets cut all Congresional staffs by 50% and limit all travel by at least 50%. I think Congress needs to sacrifice as much if not more than Federal employees to set an example.  I also think that all congresional pay should be reduced by 1/3, since most are either millionaires or very close. If Congress can feel some pain maybe they can get their act together and acutally do their jobs. Congress has not eliminated anything from their budgets other than pork belly projects for their states. DoesPelosi have an undiagosed illiness that keeps her brain from making comments that make sense? What this country needs is a good house cleaning of both the House and Senate and finally the Executive Branch. The money spent belongs to the taxpayers and not Washington.

  2. Fedup-w-Congress says:

    When one thinks that the budget allocated to finance salaries and operational needs of the Executive Branch only makes up 2% of the entire Federal budget, it becomes very difficult to accept the fact that we are now into our third year without a pay raise, we are facing at least 14 days of furlough and we’re held up as the red headed children contributing to Govt. spending going out of control.  What if as a Federal Employee I decided to only work 129 days for the next year while expecting to be paid for a full year’s worth of work.  What would my fate be?

  3. hulkstillrules says:

    Wow, what a stupid comment Mr. Issa made. He is obviously living in a dream world. I work as a firefighter for the Forest Service, and my annual compensation is less than half of the perceived $100,000 he speaks of. Why are some politicians such idiots?

  4. Bobtomko says:

    I’m glad I had the smarts to retire this past year.  Things are just getting worse for the average federal employee.  I believe trying to attract future job seekers to the government, is going to become a challenge in itself. I myself gave over 42 years of my life to the government, and my high three years averaged out to about 55,000.

  5. Chutingstar70 says:

    What a bunch of cowards.  And they call themselves Congressmen/Congresswomen.  What a joke.  They can’t pass a budget and continue to pass continuing resolutions.  They haven’t passed a budget under this administration.  I say vote everyone of them out and get someone in there who care for the American people instead of their own pocketbooks.  It’s always the military and Federal workers who take it up the yahoo when it comes to budget cuts.  We haven’t had a payraise in 3 years while everything else around us keeps going up.  Try freezing those who make over 100k and leave us little guys along.

  6. Chutingstar70 says:

    All I can say is that all of our Congressmen and women should be ashamed of them selves.  They are all cowards.  No budget in over 4 years and they call themselves government.  What a load of hogwash.  It’s always the Federal Workers and Military that take it up the wahoo every time there is a budget issue.  They can’t find their way out of a paper bag.  If they want to freeze our pay again, I suggest they freeze the pay of those making over 100k, and leave us little guys along.  It’s been three years since we’ve had a pay raise and everything around us keeps going up, that is everything except our pay.

  7. Smrobertson says:

    not sure where the money would come from to pay our salaries anyway, our budgets are being cut back so much now that we cannot support overhead costs now!  A pay raise of course would be nice, but having a job is better!

  8. dsummersgp says:

    Who is this Darrell Issa?  Who informed him that Federal employees typically make 100,000? Who are the employees that typically make 100,000 a year? I don’t make anything remotely close to that nor does anyone that I work with.  He’s obviously talking about himself and his other clueless buddies in Washington.  The waste isn’t in giving us a 0.5% pay raise it’s in paying this individual 100,000 plus a year to spout nonsense and make idiotic assumptions.  Try bringing home my salary for a year Mr. Issa and see how we mythical 100,000 per year employees are living.

  9. retiredin 13 says:

    thank god i retired this january. continuous pay freezes for the little federal servant is a “de-moralizer”!  i say to those federal workers…get out if you can, don’t wait. your future looks grim.

  10. DS152 says:

    the workers who are hurting are the Grade 7 group, it is so hard to find jobs for a Grade 9/11, we would be so happy to get to that grade

  11. Trexnfx69 says:

    Funny.  I am 90% Service-Connected for diabilities receievd while in-service.  I have been working for the VA for 13yrs now.   We haven’t had a pay increase in over three yrs.  Oh, so before you speak of Agencies and who or who not to work for, let me play my violin for you.  No one told you where to seek employment.  Look at the GS Scale.  It’s a amazing how they quote from the Executive Scale as opposed to the ones that your average Federal Employee is paid under.  Not saying I do not get paid well, but we go straight for our backsides everytime Congress and folks like yourself who speak from the space between your legs need a fall guy for the great American cause.  Please, give us all a break already.

  12. Shiningstar37874 says:

    This don’t make any since, things are constantly going up and we have families and trying to survive as well. We need our  Pay raises! Stop hurting the Federal Employees! We have Suffered Long enough!

  13. Lleon says:

    “Typically over $100,000”!!!  Where do you work?  I’m a GS11 and I don’t make that much in a year?  What about the secretaries and receptionists?  Are you saying they make over $100,000 a year?  Give me a break.  Get your facts straight.  I think you mean “Average” vice “Typical”.  They’re two very different things.  “Average is when you add all the Federal employees’ annual pay together regardless of grade (including judges and secretaries) and divide that sum by the number of Federal employees throughout the country.  “Typical” would be your most common.

  14. Comanche says:

    “Typically over $100,000”!!!!!  Where do you work?  I’m a GS11 and I don’t make anywhere near that much in a year.  Are you trying to tell us that secretaries and receptionists make over $100,000?  Get your facts straight!  I think you mean “Average” rather than “Typical”.  “Average” is when you all ALL the Ferdal employees’ pay together, regardless of grade (including judges, etc.), and divide that sum by the number of Federal employees, throughout the country.  “Typical” would be your most common.

  15. Lleon says:

    “Typically over $100,000”!!!!  Where do you work?  I’m a GS11/7 and I don’t make that kind of money.  How about the secretaries and receptionists?  Are you saying they make over $100,000.  Get your facts straight.  Rather than “Typical” I think you mean “Averarage”  (which are two very different things) which includes Judges, etc., not the “Typicale” Federal employee.  “Average” is when you add all the federal employees’ pay together (regardless of grade) and divide by the number of Federal employees throughout the country.  “Typical” would by the most common.

  16. Pissfirwilly says:

    I’m so TIRED of Congress that it isn’t funny, they take millions in graft payments from lobyists and they claim that freezing federal pay will save Americans millions of dollars… Lets see them live on a GS Pay Schedule of a GS 7… The President just gave them a pay raise along with himself but that doesn’t have anything to do with saveing Americans Money?????? Congress and the Senate needs to jump off the Fiscal Cliff and never be heard from again…Once more for all you folks, the federal employees pay makes up between 3-5 percent of the Federal Budget SO WHERE IS THE REST OF THE MONEY or 95 % of the budget GOING?????????  LEAVE US ALONE !!!!!

  17. punkin5053 says:

    Where are they getting these aveages? I’m in the Mid-West and work for the Veterans Administration; the only personnel that make that kind of money for the upper management. The employees that actually make the system work are paid far less.  Try the national aveage  employee’s salary of GS 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8’s; we don’t make that kind of money!!!

  18. Citzen_One says:

    I proudly worked for the federal government for over 30 years – once I left the government and took on a second career which I am being paid 75% more for similar work.

  19. Citzen_One says:

    Targeting Federal Employees as overpaid and average salary
    as $100K is ridiculous and is not factual. 
    As for the wages being 16% over civilian base salary is crazy.  It would be like we compare congress and
    senate salary benefits to other countries salaries (i.e. Mexico or Canada)   When are we going to stop just selecting
    groups to attack.

  20. Moffest says:

    Targeting Federal Employees as overpaid and average salary
    as $100K is ridiculous and is not factual. 
    As for the wages being 16% over civilian base salary is crazy.  It would be like we compare congress and
    senate salary benefits to other countries salaries (i.e. Mexico or Canada)   When are we going to stop just selecting
    groups to attack.

  21. Tonspldng says:

    good that Congress has pay freeze…there should be term limits as well….they should be representing the people not special interests/big business.

  22. Salemite4ever says:

    This is a slap in the face.  Federal employees have not received raises in over three years.  When was the last time Congress received a pay raise?  Again, Federal employees are used as political pawns.

  23. Kitten1051 says:

    I agree, the typical Federal employee is GS-9 or below or WG 3 or maybe a 5; but typically $100,000…. we’d like to see that amount … I’m a GS-9 step 8 and nowhere near that figure.  So, House and Senate leaders… let’s get real!

  24. Janet Lamar says:

    Who comes up with this $100,000 a year thing for feds. the average fed in finace office and the field don’t even make $50,000.

  25. Mvpax says:

    The average government worker does NOT make $100,000. 

  26. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    “… it’s what can the American people afford,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa

    My response to Congressman Issa is that American cannot afford 435 members of Congress especially since they are totally ineffectual anyway. Let’s “do more with less” in Congress too and reduce the number of members in the House of Representatives

  27. HAP4U says:

    $100K???  Try half of that…I’m earning less in comparison to last year, same pay period, and when the new insurance rate kicks in with the next paycheck, even less.  Come on!   Obviously I won’t have any discretionary income to stimulate the economy!

  28. Keeping it Real says:

    $100,000 – interesting, not many federal employees make that kind of money.  Wonder what other fairy tales they’re feeding the American public?