Obama Proposes Federal Pay Freeze

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma today pro­posed a two-year fed­er­al pay freeze to aid in reduc­ing the fed­er­al deficit.
The pro­posed freeze would not affect mil­i­tary pay, and would require con­gres­sion­al action to become law.

“[The freeze] would save $2 bil­lion over the rest of this fis­cal year and $28 bil­lion in cumu­la­tive sav­ings over the next five years,” the pres­i­dent said in announc­ing the pro­pos­al.

Oba­ma said fed­er­al employ­ees must help bear the bur­den of eco­nom­ic sac­ri­fices to put the fed­er­al bud­get back on track along with Amer­i­cans in the pri­vate sec­tor, but he acknowl­edged the pay freeze pro­pos­al is a deci­sion that didn’t come eas­i­ly.

“This is not just a line item on a fed­er­al reg­is­ter,” he said. “These are people’s lives. They’re doc­tors and nurs­es who care for our vet­er­ans, sci­en­tists who search for bet­ter treat­ments and cures, men and women who care for our nation­al parks and secure our bor­ders and our skies, Amer­i­cans who see that the Social Secu­ri­ty checks get out on time, who make sure that schol­ar­ships come through, who devote them­selves to our safe­ty.”

When Oba­ma took office in Jan­u­ary 2009, he imme­di­ate­ly froze salaries for senior White House offi­cials. Ear­li­er this year, he also pro­posed freez­ing salaries for all polit­i­cal appointees through­out the gov­ern­ment, White House offi­cials said.

Oba­ma not­ed today that he also has pro­posed a three-year freeze on all non­se­cu­ri­ty dis­cre­tionary spend­ing, a step he said would bring that spend­ing to its low­est lev­el as a share of the econ­o­my in 50 years.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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