GOP proposes ban on government bonuses while sequester in effect

"SES employees make up less than 1 percent of the federal workforce, yet they received more than 4 percent of the federal bonus dollars," Fitzpatrick said in a statement to The Hill. "Additionally, federal spending on bonuses has outpaced growth of the SES, with spending on SES bonuses increasing 7 percent between 2008 and 2010.

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"Taxpayers shouldn't be footing the bill to give bonuses to certain federal employees when agencies and other employees are forced to make tough choices to prioritize spending."

Fitzpatrick introduced the bill with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC); the bill is the House companion to legislation in the Senate, S. 986, from Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).

The bill was introduced on the same day that Congress was discussing the IRS's payment of nearly $100 million in bonuses over the last few years to its employees, including the senior officials involved in the IRS targeting scandal. Lois Lerner, who led the division of the IRS dealing with tax-exempt organizations, got $42,000 in bonus awards during the time her group was targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny, and other IRS officials received even larger awards.

On Monday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) asked Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel to get back to him with information about whether President Obama approved some of these bonus awards.

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