Hatch, Coburn seek $600 billion in savings by cutting federal workforce

GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that aims to save $600 billion over 10 years by freezing federal salaries and bonuses, cutting employees and contractors by 15 percent and cutting the federal travel budget by 75 percent.

The bill comes on the heels of a debt-ceiling agreement that calls for more than $900 billion in planned government spending cuts over 10 years, and calls for another $1.5 trillion in cuts to be found by the end of this year. Hatch indicated that he and other Republicans would put forward this plan as part of the effort to meet that goal.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Some may see things differently, but I don't see any way that we can restore the integrity of the nation's fiscal position without significantly reducing the size and cost of the federal government," he said. "The bill we are introducing today would be an important and measurable step toward that goal."

Under the bill, S. 1476, salaries and bonuses would be frozen for three years, which Hatch said amounts to $140 billion in reduced spending over 10 years.

It would also require the administration to cut the size of the federal workforce by 15 percent over 10 years, amounting to 300,000 fewer workers. "This could easily be accomplished through attrition and would save taxpayers over $225 billion over that time," Hatch said.

Cutting 15 percent of contract workers would save another $230 billion over 10 years, he said.

A 75 percent cut to the federal travel budget would save an estimated $15 billion. "[I]mprovements in teleconferencing technology and web-based communication have made much of the government-sponsored travel that was required in the past unnecessary," he said.

More in Senate

Senate passes bill for airline employees seeking retirement benefits

Read more »