Later this morning, President Obama is set to announce support for a two-year pay freeze for all federal employees (save the military), the New York Times reports.
Even if the federal payroll were to remain flat, it would not have much of an impact on the overall budget, so in that sense, this isn’t a very significant development. On the other hand, it is a glimpse into how Obama plans to react to the Republican victory. He’ll use, small, symbolic actions such as this to say he’s being bipartisan and is aware of public anger over the growth of the federal government with out making any real concessions on anything that actually matters. This also is a way of stealing the thunder of Republicans, who were planning on pushing this idea.
Republicans, it should be said, have been calling for a federal hiring freeeze in addition to a pay freeze, and there’s no indication from the news reports that Obama will get behind that idea.