Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) introduced legislation Tuesday to significantly reduce both the size and scope of the federal government and provide real savings for AmericaвЂ™s taxpayers. The Federal Workforce Reduction and Reform Act of 2011 will shrink the federal government and make it more efficient and fiscally-responsible.
Specifically, the legislation would extend the current pay freeze on federal civilian employeesвЂ™ salaries by an additional three years. Additionally, it would also freeze all bonuses, including performance and recruitment bonuses, for that same time period. The bill also requires a 15 percent reduction in the size of the federal workforce and in the federal contracted workforce over the next 10 years, which could easily be accomplished through attrition and simple accounting without adding to unemployment. Finally, the bill would provide a 75 percent reduction in the federal governmentвЂ™s annual travel budget, which accounts for more than $15 billion a year, a figure that is no longer necessary or sustainable.
Utilizing the methodology employed by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, these commonsense proposals would save the federal government more than $600 billion over ten years.
вЂњIf the recent debate over the debt ceiling has shown anything, itвЂ™s that we need to make sure the federal government is forced to live within its means, just as small businesses and working families across the country are,вЂќ Hatch said. вЂњWe simply must do more to address our runaway government spending and debt.В The solutions to these problems donвЂ™t need to be complicated.В Our bill will generate significant savings вЂ“ more than $600 billion вЂ“ by implementing just a small handful of relatively simple reforms.вЂќ
According to the Congressional Research Service, the executive branch civilian workforce has grown consistently over the last decade. As of December 2010, the workforce had nearly 350,000 more employees than it had in September 2000. Additionally, the number of federal contractors is believed to have increased much more substantially during this same period, growing by more than 3 million workers between 1999 and 2005 (from more than 4.4 million to more than 7.6 million).