News / USA

Obama Proposes Civilian Pay Freeze to Help Tackle Federal Deficit

President Barack Obama delivers a statement to members of the media in the in the Old Executive Office Building, on the White House campus in Washington, Nov. 29, 2010
President Barack Obama delivers a statement to members of the media in the in the Old Executive Office Building, on the White House campus in Washington, Nov. 29, 2010

Multimedia

Audio

President Barack Obama said he will seek a two-year freeze of the salaries of civilian U.S. federal workers, saying the step is necessary to deal with the federal deficit and to control government spending.

The White House estimates the proposed freeze would save $2 billion in the current fiscal year and $28 billion during the next five years, with a savings impact increasing to $60 billion over the next decade.

In announcing the proposed pay freeze, President Obama referenced the $1.3 trillion federal spending deficit he inherited from his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush.

Saying that steps he has taken so far for economic recovery have produced 10 months of private-sector job growth, Obama said more needs to be done. H described the federal civilian pay freeze as one of a series of steps needed to put the United States on a more stable economic course.

"Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government."

Aside from the proposed pay freeze, the clearest message from Mr. Obama was about politics in Washington, and the question of whether he and opposition Republicans can find enough common ground to avoid governmental gridlock.

In mid-term congressional elections this month, the Republican Party won a majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives. On Tuesday, Republican congressional leaders are due to sit down with the president at the White House.

Referring to what he called tough decisions put off for a long time, Obama said political leaders in Washington will have to compromise.

"We face challenges that will require the cooperation of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Everybody is going to have to cooperate. We cannot afford to fall back on to the same old ideologies or the same stale sound bites. We are going to have to budget on some deeply-held positions and compromise for the good of the country."

In Capitol Hill reaction, Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the pay freeze should have been shared between civilian and military personnel. Ohio Representative John Boehner, who will be the new House Speaker in the new Congress convening in January, welcomed the step, saying Republicans also had proposed a net freeze on federal hiring.

Deficit reduction is not the only issue on the table when Obama sits down Tuesday with congressional leaders. He also is seeking Senate ratification of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia in the face of resistance from at least one Senate Republican. He hopes to accomplish this in the current end-of-year congressional session.

The president said he hopes Tuesday's meeting with Republican leaders will mark what he called a first step toward a new and productive working relationship. It would be unwise to assume, Mr. Obama added, that the main lesson from the mid-term congressional elections is that Americans prefer one way of thinking over another.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid