Issa says pay freeze overdue and insufficient

The ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said the president should immediately take additional steps to prove his commitment to reining in the federal deficit.

Most of the 2.1 million federal employees were expecting a 1.4 percent raise in 2011.

The freeze is estimated to save $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal 2011, $28 billion over the next five years and more than $60 billion during the next 10 years, according to the administration.

"This freeze is not to punish federal workers or to disrespect the work that they do. It is the first of many actions we will take in the upcoming budget to put our nation on sound fiscal footing, which will ask for some sacrifice from us all," the White House said in a statement.

Issa downplayed the savings in his statement and called for more scrutiny on wasted taxpayer dollars.

"To put this in perspective, the Obama administration says this two-year pay freeze will save $2 billion, however, just last week, OMB released a report revealing that the federal government’s improper payments for FY-2010 totaled $125 billion, $15 billion higher than the previous year," he said. "It is unthinkable that we have come to accept having a bureaucracy that has institutionalized waste, fraud and abuse to the point where $125 billion in improper payments were made last year."

He touted the Republicans' "Pledge to America" as the way forward when it comes to deficit reduction.