Hoyer: Military should also see pay freeze

The second-ranking House Democrat said Monday that President Obama’s move to freeze the pay of civilian federal employees should also be extended to military personnel.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said including the military would have increased savings and add “an element of fairness." He made the comments in a statement about he president’s announcement of a two-year pay freeze. 

“While I appreciate that the president reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years,” Hoyer said in a statement, “it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between federal civilian and military personnel — with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way.”

Hoyer will become minority whip in the 112th Congress. He has made budgetary reform a signature issue, and he said he would review Obama’s proposal “for its balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to recruit and retain a federal workforce able to provide the level of service that the American people expect.”

The Maryland Democrat also urged the administration to back a more comprehensive program to reduce the nation’s soaring deficit, along the lines of proposals from the president’s fiscal commission and a separate debt panel.