Last night, Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) voted for H.R. 3835, legislation that extends the pay freeze for some 2.3 million federal workers, including members of Congress and their congressional staffs, through 2013. Federal workers are in the middle of a two-year pay freeze instituted by President Obama in late 2010.
"H.R. 3835 is fiscally responsible legislation that would save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars," said Lance. "Given that many Americans are struggling economically, freezing federal salaries for another year is the right thing to do."
The Seventh District lawmaker noted that a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows government workers already make far more than those in the private sector. In fact, according to The Hill newspaper, "federal workers are compensated 16 percent more than comparable private sector workers on average." And according to the House Budget Committee, federal employees "enjoy a 48 percent advantage over their private-sector counterparts" when it comes to benefits too.
In an effort to curtail congressional spending, Congressman Lance earlier this year returned more than $118,000 from his 2011 congressional office budget to the U.S. Treasury. The sum was nearly 10 percent of his entire office operating budget.
Lance also has a record of reducing spending on legislative operations in Washington -- twice voting to cut congressional office budgets by 6.4 percent in fiscal year 2012 and 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2011. And as a member of Congress Leonard Lance has never received a congressional pay raise and twice voted in favor of freezing congressional pay.
In November 2010, Lance voted to ban congressional earmarks and was the first member of the New Jersey congressional delegation to pledge to forgo earmarks voluntarily, citing the need for fiscal restraint.
"Members of Congress cannot seriously talk about deficit reduction without first addressing runaway spending in Washington. This action by the U.S. House is a small, but important step toward getting our Nation's fiscal house in order," concluded Lance.