On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) introduced H.R. 824, the Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act. The measure cuts billions from the budget by gradually reducing the size of the federal civilian workforce by ten percent. The bill limits new federal hires to one employee for every three that retire or leave service, saving $35 billion over five years without forcing any current federal employees out of the job.
"It's no accident that we've racked up $16 trillion in debt; Washington simply doesn't know how or when to stop spending, growing and borrowing," Rep. Lummis said. "Here's a solution that requires nothing more than the federal government doing what any business, state or local government would do to cut costs--limit new hires.
"Instead of blindly filling empty desks, my bill forces agencies to take a step back, consider which position are crucial, and make decisions based on necessity rather than luxury.
"Job creation should be taking place on Main Street America, not in a federal government that's been ballooning ever since President Obama took office. It's time for the federal government to get leaner and smarter under an attrition policy, not bigger and more bloated under a stimulus policy."
From January 2008 to November 2012, the federal government has grown by an estimated 215,700 civilian, non-postal employees while the private sector has shed millions of jobs as a result of the recession. The Simpson-Bowles Commission recommended using attrition to achieve a ten percent reduction in the federal civilian workforce. In making its recommendation, the Commission stated, "Washington needs to learn to do more with less, using fewer resources to accomplish existing goals."
Highlights of the Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act:
Limits new federal hires to one employee for every three that retire or leave service.
Requires a net 10 percent reduction in the federal civilian workforce within three years.
In the event of noncompliance with the hiring ratio, the bill institutes a hiring freeze until compliance is met.
Allows waiver of the requirement only by the President due to a state of war, national security, or an extraordinary emergency threatening life, health, safety, or property.
To ensure positions are not simply backfilled by service contracts, the bill prohibits increases in service contracts unless a cost comparison demonstrates savings to the government.