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Washington-area Lawmakers Want Thaw in Federal Pay Freeze

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Led by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House majority leader, a bevy of local lawmakers is pushing back against the Obama administration’s plans for a two-year federal pay freeze.

In a letter sent to the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) Monday, the lawmarkers urged Congress to only consider a one-year freeze, according to a report in The Washington Post.

“We do not believe civil servants should be unfairly targeted outside the context of a comprehensive approach to the federal budget simply because they carry out the work of the federal government,” the letter states.

The local legislators’ protest could throw in a wrench in the White House’s plan to have lawmakers adopt the pay freeze in the lame-duck session of Congress before new members are seated.

Pay for 2012 and beyond should be taken up by the next Congress, the authors of the letter wrote, where federal pay “can be considered in the context of a more comprehensive approach to deficit reduction.”

According to Government Executive, the Office of Management and Budget has already drawn up “legislative language” to enact the freeze. The only thing missing is the vote by Congress.

The other signatures include: Virginia Reps. James P. Moran and Gerald E. Connolly; Maryland Reps. Chris Van Hollen, John P. Sarbanes and Donna F. Edwards. D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes and sole Republican Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia also signed the letter.

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