Today’s House vote on another year of the federal pay freeze is significant in that it sends a message to a conference meeting on the payroll tax cut extension.
“This is not the thing to be looking at,” said Pete Kasperowicz, a reporter with The Hill newspaper, referring to the vote on H.R. 3835. “What [House Republicans] are trying to do is build pressure on that conference to agree to the pay freeze.”
Last year, Congress agreed to a two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday. That extension expires at the end of this month.
The bill the House is taking up today also includes freezing pay for members of Congress.
In an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin, Kasperowicz said today’s vote is “a little bit of gamesmanship.”
The House will vote on the bill using a suspension vote, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass, he added.
Kasperowicz said he sees a division within the Republican Party — particularly between long-term lawmakers and the new-comers, who came into office because they are “essentially at war fiscally with the federal government and all things federal, the workers, what are they paid, what are their benefits.”
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-8 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.