House Committee Approves Bill to Cut the Federal Workforce

The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is scheduled today to mark up H.R. 3029, which is proposed legislation that would cut the federal workforce through attrition if enacted in its current form.

Update: The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has passed H.R. 3029 by a vote of 23-14.

The legislation was introduced on the House side by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC). It aims to cut the federal workforce by 10% through attrition by 2015 for an expected savings of about $139 billion over ten years.

So what exactly does it mean for a bill to be “marked up?” It is a process of discussing and adding amendments to the bills. The House committee then determines after the mark up session whether or not to send it along to the House floor for consideration. It’s up to the Speaker of the House to schedule it and is possible for bills to not be scheduled. Even if the bill passes the House, it still must be passed by the Senate and signed by the President to become law.

The American Federation of Government Employees has spoken out against the bill. Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten sent a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa urging lawmakers to vote against the bill. In her letter, Moten said that reducing the number of federal employees without reducing the services they provide will lead to agencies being forced to utilize private contractors and argues that federal employees are a less expensive cost of labor than contractors which would ultimately cost the government more money, not increase its savings.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.