White House Holds Off Threatening Veto On House Pay Freeze Bill

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By on March 5, 2013 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 38 Comments

The White House issued a statement on the House GOP plan to temporarily fund the government through the end of September that stopped short of threatening a veto should it pass both the House and Senate.

The statement expressed concerns about the legislation but said said it looks forward to working with Congress to refine them.

A provision in the House bill would extend the pay freeze on the federal workforce through the end of 2013. The House is expected to pass the legislation later this week.

The full statement from the White House is included below.

The Administration is deeply concerned about the impact of H.R. 933, making appropriations for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other departments and agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes, and is committed to working with the Congress to address these concerns in a way that strengthens the middle class and helps to grow the economy.

While the Administration is pleased to see that H.R. 933 is consistent with the mutually agreed upon budget framework in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), the bill raises concerns about the Government’s ability to protect consumers, avoid deep cuts in critical services that families depend on, and implement critical domestic priorities such as access to quality and affordable health care. Furthermore, while the legislation includes the Department of Defense and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies fiscal year 2013 bills, the remainder of Federal agencies are left to operate at last year’s level, which will impede their ability to provide services to Americans and efficiently allocate funding to key programs including those in infrastructure, clean energy, education, and research and development.

The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to refine the legislation to address these concerns. As the Congress considers this bill, the Administration will continue to press the Congress to eliminate the automatic and arbitrary cuts to current funding levels imposed by the Joint Committee sequestration, which will harm middle class and working Americans while costing the Nation’s economy hundreds of thousands of jobs. The President continues to work to replace sequestration with a larger, balanced deficit reduction agreement that strengthens the middle class by accelerating job creation and growth while coupling serious entitlement reform that strengthens these critical programs with tax reform that raises revenue by closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.