Senate omnibus bill includes 2-year pay freeze

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Senate is proposing a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2011 that includes a two-year pay freeze for federal employees.

The proposed pay freeze would begin Jan. 1 and end Dec. 31, 2012.

The Senate bill states, “No senior executive or senior-level employee may receive an increase in his or her rate of basic pay absent a change of position that results in a substantial increase in responsibility, or a promotion.”

A Senate Appropriations Committee spokesman said there is no timetable to vote on the omnibus that would replace the current continuing resolution, which runs through Dec. 18.

The House has passed an appropriations bill that is a continuing resolution, funding government at current 2010 levels.

The Senate bill is an omnibus bill that would change appropriation amounts. A Senate bill summary states that a CR fails to cut $10.2 billion in “wasteful, poor performing, or terminated military programs.”

Both bills, however, include the two-year pay freeze, making that provision all but a done deal. Lawmakers’ actions come after President Obama submitted a proposal for a two-year pay freeze.

The Senate bill does not include any discussion of a freeze on performance or step increases. However, the omnibus does protect against furloughs or a reduction in force among agencies by allocating $1.3 billion. The funding can also be used to ensure legislatively-mandated programs can continue if money runs short.

Other highlights of the omnibus bill include:

  • $17 million for performance improvement initiatives, including funding the Chief Information Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Acquisition Officers, Chief Human Capital Officers and the Performance Improvement councils.
  • An additional $10 million to increase the acquisition workforce capacity of the Department of Homeland Security
  • $77.6 million for the General Services Administration’s Office of Governmentwide Policy,, including the Office of High Performance Green Buildings
  • $20 million for the E-Government Fund to expand “innovative uses of the Internet and other electronic methods,” and for initiatives such as cloud computing.

Federal News Radio’s Jolie Lee contributed to this story.

Omnibus summary by agency

Full text of 2011 omnibus

Full coverage of the pay debate


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