House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) one-upped Pres. Obama's proposed pay freeze on Monday, saying that military personnel serving outside of Afghanistan, Iraq or any other dangerous area should also be subject to the freeze.
Obama proposed a pay freeze for civilian federal and military workers on Monday, meaning that a planned 1.4 percent raise would not take effect in 2011. The move was intended to help cut federal spending.
The freeze, however, exempts all uniformed military personnel -- and that's where Hoyer is taking issue. In a statement, Hoyer said military personnel should also be subject to the freeze. Hoyer added that a "strong exception," however, should be granted to military and civilian members serving in Afghanistan, Iraq or in other dangerous areas.
"There has been parity between civilian and military pay raises for 22 of the past 28 years in which raises were authorized, and hundreds of thousands of Federal civilian employees work alongside military employees in the Department of Defense and other agencies," Hoyer said.
Obama's pay freeze is projected to save the government $5 billion in the next two years, $28 billion over the next five years and $60 billion over the next 10. That represents just a fraction of the current $1.3 trillion deficit.
Hoyer did not say in his statement how much more applying the freeze to military personnel would save the government.