What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : (H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to provide “step increases” in federal workers’ salaries. Step increases refer to automatic pay-raises given to federal employees every one to three years. (2011 house Roll Call 133)
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to provide “step increases” in federal workers’ salaries. Step increases refer to automatic pay-raises given to federal employees every one to three years.
house Roll Call 133     Feb 18, 2011
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to provide “step increases” in federal workers’ salaries. Step increases refer to automatic pay-raises given to federal employees every one to three years. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Issa urged support for his amendment: “First of all, as for political appointees, the president has already frozen their pay. Second of all, awards, raises, and bonuses are not limited by this freeze [in step increases]. The fact is, if somebody is meritorious of a raise, award or bonus, he will still be able to get it….When they [critics of this amendment] say that these [raises] are effectively meritorious…It is 99.94 percent of all eligible federal employees, meaning only six out of every 10,000 employees, failed to get this automatic increase. This [amendment] saves over $500 million in 7 months and over $700 million the next year.”

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) opposed the amendment: “…We are the world's superpower, and much of the responsibility for maintaining the status of being that superpower falls on the shoulders of our federal civil service. Already, they get about a third less than what they would be getting in the private sector for the same responsibilities. We desperately need the best and the brightest, from all over this country, to serve the American people. If we punish them by limiting their salaries, by making them scapegoats, we are doing a disservice to the American people. Let's not do this. Defeat the amendment.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 191-230. Voting “yea” were 190 Republicans and 1 Democrat. 184 Democrats and 46 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have prohibited funds provided by a continuing resolution from being used to provide “step increases” in federal workers’ salaries.

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