Isn't this just great! Right after they all got their pay raises, now there is going to be a freeze. Isn't that just quaint?
Bowing to Republican political pressure and growing budget concerns, President Obama will announce a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers Monday, according to administration sources.
The freeze applies to all federal employees -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, and will not impact step increases or bonuses for federal workers, according to sources.
Further details will be announced by Obama at 11:35 a.m., the White House said.
Obama signaled a willingness to consider pay and hiring freezes as a way to rein in government spending during an October interview with The Washington Post.
The administration had examined pay levels, "and the data we get back indicates that high-skilled workers in government are slightly underpaid. Lower-skilled workers are slightly overpaid relative to the private sector," Obama said.
"And that's not surprising," he added, "because it's a unionized workforce" in government, while the private sector typically is not.
"Government should have to tighten its belt as well. We need to do it in an intelligent way," Obama said in October. "We need to make sure we do things smarter, rather than just lopping something off arbitrarily without having thought it through."
Obama has already frozen the salaries of top White House officials and top political appointees. But freezing the salaries of all civilian workers is a much bolder step. It will also mean a big economic hit to the Washington region, home to more than 600,000 federal workers, making the federal government the region's dominant employer.
RELATED: Obama says federal jobs may stay vacant, doesn't rule out furloughs (Oct. 15)
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