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Bill cutting federal pensions hits House Rules Committee tonight

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Rep. Dennis Ross (photo by Blair Tomlinson)A bill that would increase the amount federal employees pay toward their pensions and steeply cut the pensions of future federal employees is continuing to work its way through the House. The House Rules Committee is scheduled to consider HR 3813, the Securing Annuities for Federal Employees Act, at a 5 p.m. meeting today, where it could be amended.

The committee’s approval is the final step before it heads to the House floor. Fred Piccolo, the chief of staff for bill sponsor Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., said it’s unclear when debate on the bill will begin, but said it could happen sometime this week.

But that’s where things get dicey. Last week House Republican leaders rolled the SAFE Act into HR 7, a massive surface transportation bill, to cover that bill’s costs. But House Democrats are united against the bill, and the GOP is facing revolts from conservatives and moderates alike.

Ross is not at all happy his pension bill was attached to the transportation bill, which he plans to vote against. Piccolo said Ross feels any cuts to federal retirement should go to deficit reduction and that it’s wrong to use those cuts to pay for other spending priorities. (That may be the one thing Ross and federal unions agree on.)

So House Republican leaders this morning broke the transportation bill back up into its component pieces, which they hope to pass separately and then later recombine. But that still doesn’t resolve rebellious Republican’s problems with the transportation bill, and HR 7 remains in serious trouble.

However, the SAFE Act may have a better chance of getting passed now that it isn’t lashed to that sinking ship of a transportation bill. Stay tuned.

(Read more about what the SAFE Act would do here. It would also allow feds to put their unused annual or vacation leave toward their Thrift Savings Plan.)

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Comments

  1. s. fishman Says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I support the bill. Cuts must be made across the board. Hiring freezes should also be implimented. I do not want our country following the path of Greece.

  2. Tom Says:
    April 16th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    In addition to the cuts being discussed above, CURRENT recipients of the federal CSRS should have their payments reduced to a more reasonable level, immediately. The amount of money being received in retirement under this plan is completely unreasonable, especially in our country’s current financial situation.

  3. Warren Says:
    April 18th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I am a federal retiree under CSRS. I worked hard for over 34 years with the up-front agreement with our government that there would be a REASONABLE pension when I reached retirement age. How could anyone now say that this needs to be reduced at this late date? I would willing take cuts though if everyone else took an equitable cut, including millionaires, oil companies, farmers, and TOM.

  4. Wlliam Says:
    April 18th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    If we need to cut programs.to pay for other programs..cut foregion aid to other countries.Foregion aid is the biggest waist of tax payers money Now they want to send.bilions yearly to Afganastan military,while we suffer the comsequences of high gas and food prices.

  5. DW Says:
    April 18th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Shove it Tom. I accepted lower pay for this pension. Deals made must be honored. If you lower my pension, then give me back pay with interest. The pension was the reason I accepted this job.