Senator Proposes Pay Freeze for DOL Employees

One Senator recently proposed a freeze on pay raises for federal employees at the Labor Department.

Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) has introduced an amendment that would freeze pay for federal employees at the Department of Labor (DOL) to help reduce “improper payments” made by the agency.

The amendment (S. Amdt. 3726) was introduced to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 6157) on August 16.

The wording in the amendment offers no details as to how freezing pay raises for DOL employees would help with reducing what it describes as “improper payments.” It simply states that no funds made available under the Department of Defense Appropriations act may be used to give raises to federal employees at DOL until the agency Secretary has submitted a detailed report to Congress “to reduce improper payments made by the Department of Labor.”

Bloomberg Law, which originally reported the details of the amendment, reported that Kennedy’s staff cited recent comments the Senator made after an amendment was struck down in Congress that would have continued the proposed pay freeze in 2019 for federal employees.

Eliminating a pay raise would have saved “hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in a payroll that tops $270 billion annually,” Kennedy said in a statement he made at that time and added, “We could have used the savings to pay down the national debt and invest in our children’s futures.”

Although the White House proposed a pay freeze next year for the federal workforce, the Senate authorized a 1.9% pay raise in 2019 for federal workers, but the legislative process is still ongoing that could ultimately determine the fate of next year’s pay increase.

S. Amendment 3726 – DOL Pay Freeze by FedSmith Inc. on Scribd

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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.