Federal Daily News

Bill: Moratorium on SES bonuses

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform approved a measure on July 24 that proposes to prohibit bonuses to Senior Executive Service members through the end of fiscal year 2013.

The bill would also cap bonuses to SES members at 5 percent of salary through fiscal 2015.

The Common Sense in Compensation Act (H.R. 1541) is another of a slew of measures that would negatively affect federal employee pay and benefits—most in the form of proposed cuts or limits—to be considered this week in the House of Representatives. Federal employee organizations have been speaking out against the bills.

In the case of H.R. 1541, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association has been particularly strong, stating that if passed, the stop in bonuses would “diminish the ability of agencies to continue to recruit and retain the highest caliber law enforcement personnel, or otherwise negatively impact the mission of federal law enforcement.”

Meanwhile, advocates for the bill have framed the issue to appeal to a broad audience of less elite employees.

“Over the past two months, federal official after federal official has talked about the need to furlough employees due to sequestration,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), lead sponsor of the bill, said on the House floor. “Yet the government continues to hand out millions of dollars in bonuses to federal employees—75 percent of Senior Executive Service employees receive bonuses at an average of $13,081.”

“Regular, oftentimes blue-collar, federal workers are facing furloughs, while senior employees are cashing in,” he said.

Meadows called such bonuses to SES members, in the context of the current period of sequester and attendant cuts, “unacceptable.”

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