The Republican Party platform that was adopted Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa would cut the size of the federal workforce and adjust federal pay and benefits to “reflect those of the private sector.”
The ideas regarding the federal workforce are ones that have been put forth previously, usually in proposed legislation by the House.
While not new ideas, the plan reiterates three specific proposals to “modernize” the federal civil service. The platform proposes a reduction in the size of the federal workforce of at least 10% through attrition, adjusting pay and benefits to better reflect those of the private sector (presumably this means a downward adjustment), and would take an aggressive approach to collecting delinquent taxes and student loan debts from federal employees.
The last item is one that got attention recently when the House approved legislation that would fire tax delinquent federal workers.
The 2012 Republican party platform states:
The federal workforce bears great responsibilities and sometimes wields tremendous power, especially when Congress delegates to it the execution of complicated and far-reaching legislation. We recognize the dedication of federal workers and the difficulty of their thankless task of implementing poorly drafted or open-ended legislation.
Under the current Administration, the civil service has grown by at least 140,000 workers, while the number making at least $150,000 has doubled. At a time when the national debt has increased to over $15.9 trillion under the current Administration, this is grossly irresponsible. The American people work too hard and too long to support a bloated government. We call for a reduction, through attrition, in the federal payroll of at least 10 percent and the adjustment of pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector. We must bring the 130-year old Civil Service System into the twenty-first century. The federal pay system should be sufficiently flexible to acknowledge and reward those who dare to innovate, reduce overhead, optimize processes, and expedite paperwork.
Delinquency in paying taxes and repaying student loans has been too common in some segments of the civil service. A Republican Administration will make enforcement among its own employees a priority and, unlike the current Administration, will name to public office no one who has failed to meet their financial obligations to the government and fellow taxpayers.
Other reforms of interest to the federal workforce that are outlined in the document include reforming the TSA and restructuring the Postal Service.
The GOP proposal calls for changes to the Postal Service to ensure it continues to deliver the mail while preparing for “the downsizing made inevitable by the advance of internet communication.”
As for the TSA, the plan would largely privatize the agency, replacing TSA employees with private screeners where feasible, stating, “The American people have already delivered their verdict on the Transportation Security Administration: its procedures – and much of its personnel – need to be changed. It is now a massive bureaucracy of 65,000 employees who seem to be accountable to no one for the way they treat travelers. We call for the private sector to take over airport screening wherever feasible and look toward the development of security systems that can replace the personal violation of frisking.”
Among its other numerous proposals, the plan would also repeal ObamaCare and reform the Food and Drug Administration.
The full 2012 Republican Platform can be read in its entirety on the GOP web site.