President Obama announced Monday a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal employees, including those working at the Department of Defense, the Washington Post and others are reporting. The White House expects the move to save $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal 2011 — which began Oct. 1 — and $28 billion over the next five years.
“Obama is making the announcement today because Tuesday is the deadline to set federal locality pay, or variations the government makes in pay and benefits based on geographic location, officials said.
“Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the freeze is “The first of many difficult steps ahead.
“‘Clearly this is a difficult decision,’ Zients told reporters ahead of Obama’s official announcement. ‘Federal employees are hard-working and dedicated and essential to delivering services to the American people. Today the president is clearly asking them to make a sacrifice.’
“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 that will result in a big economic hit to the Washington region, which is home to more than 600,000 federal workers and their families.”