House GOP budget cutters are now eying diplomat pay in a bid to save $140 million a year. Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., has added an amendment to the spending bill that would cut the pay of some 13,000 Foreign Service officers stationed overseas, The Washington Post reported
|Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.
Reed is going after a pay scale called overseas comparability pay, which is designed to equalize government pay with private sector workers and varies from city to city. Currently those overseas get the same 24 percent locality pay as those working in Washington, the Post said.
Reed said that “at a time when other federal employees have had their salaries frozen or reduced, we cannot and should not be giving massive, automatic pay raises to any federal employees," the Post said. Congressional Budget Office estimates show that if the cuts eventually become law, government savings would reach $427 million by the end of fiscal 2013.
American Foreign Service Association’s Susan Johnson said the proposal would penalize “Foreign Service officers for doing what is at the core of our mission: to go overseas, to serve our country in increasingly complex places. It's sending a signal — contrary to what we've been hearing from both sides of the aisle — about the importance of diplomacy as part of our state-craft," the Post said.
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