U.S. Congress poised to limit contractor pay: Is $487,000 a year enough?

U.S. Congress poised to limit contractor pay: Is $487,000 a year enough?

By Andy Sullivan 1 hour ago
A general view of the U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington

A general view of the U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington, October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress is poised to nearly halve the salary cap for U.S. government contractors after years of dramatic increases driven by skyrocketing executive pay.

A broad budget bill that won approval by the House of Representatives on Thursday would lower the cap to $487,000 a person, down from its current level of $952,000. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week.

The measure would be a partial victory for the White House, which for years has sought to rein in contractor reimbursements that fund salary and other personnel costs. In May, the White House proposed limiting the reimbursement level to $400,000 a person – the amount Barack Obama earns as president.

At least 616 employees at contracting companies earned more than that last year, according to the Government Accountability Office. Continue reading “U.S. Congress poised to limit contractor pay: Is $487,000 a year enough?”

Scenes from Day One of the government shutdown

Scenes from Day One of the government shutdown

By T. Rees Shapiro and Jackie Kucinich, Published: October 2 at 8:00 am

Many federal workers left work before noon on Tuesday in a rare mid-day exodus brought on by the first shutdown furloughs in 17 years, feeling frustrated, uncertain and even lighthearted in some cases.

Atop the Federal Triangle Metro escalators, a steady trickle of government employees arrived in the morning dressed more casually than usual, wearing jeans and sneakers instead of the usual business suits or button-ups and slacks.

Commuters exit Capitol South metro station during the Government Shutdown Tuesday. (Photo by Marlon Correa/The Washington Post) Continue reading “Scenes from Day One of the government shutdown”

House votes down GOP’s piecemeal spending bills

By Pete Kasperowicz – 10/01/13 08:02 PM ET

The House on Tuesday night rejected three appropriations resolutions that would have funded the District of Columbia, veterans programs and national parks, after House Republicans set them up in a way that required Democratic support for passage.

GOP leadership decided earlier in the day to advance smaller spending resolutions as a way to ease the impact of the government shutdown that started today. But Democrats held out against this tactic, and most voted against the three bills in order to keep up pressure for a comprehensive spending package.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the piecemeal strategy would allow Republicans to pick and choose which parts of the government to fund, which she compared to a slow release of hostages.

“They took hostages by shutting down the government,” Pelosi said. “Now they’re releasing one hostage at a time.” Continue reading “House votes down GOP’s piecemeal spending bills”

White House proposal capping contractor payments falls short, union says

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White House proposal capping contractor payments falls short, union says

Half-hearted proposal doesn’t come close to matching sacrifices incurred by federal employees

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Obama administration’s proposal to lower the cap on government contractor compensation doesn’t go nearly far enough to level the playing field between lavishly paid contractors and front-line federal workers, the head of the largest federal employee union said today.

“The administration’s proposal is completely inadequate.  It still requires taxpayers to reimburse contractors for exorbitant sums, while federal employees are suffering pay freezes and cuts due to furloughs,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. Continue reading “White House proposal capping contractor payments falls short, union says”

AFGE official criticizes FEHBP proposals in Obama budget

AFGE official criticizes FEHBP proposals in Obama budget

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – In testimony delivered today before a House subcommittee, American Federation of Government Employees Public Policy Director Jacqueline Simon criticized proposals that the Obama administration has presented for altering the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

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AFGE Public Policy Director Jacqueline Simon testifies before the House 
Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. 
Postal Service, and the Census regarding proposed changes to FEHBP.

Simon testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and the Census. The hearing focused on the FEHBP and whether it is a good value for federal employees. A copy of the testimony is available here: http://bit.ly/14egKZe. Continue reading “AFGE official criticizes FEHBP proposals in Obama budget”