For every three federal employees that retire, only one new employee will be hired, according to H.R. 2114, the Reducing the Size of the Federal Government Through Attrition Act of 2011 introduced by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders.
Drawing on recommendations from the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced the bill designed to reduce the size of federal workforce by 10% by 2015. The bill allows for one federal employee to be hired to replace every three that retire or leave their job. The Commission’s proposal has been estimated to save taxpayers $127.5 billion over ten years. The legislation fulfills a policy recommended in the Fiscal Year 2012 House Budget Resolution.
“In 1996, Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over. From January 1994 to December 2000, the Administration and Republicans in Congress worked together to reduce the size of the federal workforce by 381,000,” said Issa, the committee’s chairman. “Because of explosive growth in the federal workforce in this Administration, these accomplishments have been erased. This bill will help us reverse the growth curve.”
“We need to take action now” said Ross, whose subcommittee examined the issue at a hearing titled, Rightsizing the Federal Workforce, last week. “Office of Personnel Management projections suggest approximately 400,000 federal employees are currently eligible for retirement. As these workers leave, we cannot let this opportunity to save taxpayer money pass.”
Chaffetz, who also sits on the House Budget Committee, said: “The American people deserve a federal government that is smaller, leaner, and more efficient. When the House overwhelmingly adopted the Path to Prosperity budget, we declared the era of unlimited growth in federal government size and spending must come to an end. Private sector job creators and families in my district have learned to do more with less. So should the federal government.”
The legislation ensures agencies do not abuse the use of service contracts to get around the reduction in the size of their workforce, but it does not prohibit agencies from saving taxpayer money through competition.