Federal civilian employees would be subject to a non-consecutive, 2-week furlough in 2011, and members of Congress would have their pay cut by 10 percent, under H.R. 6134, a bill recently introduced by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado). The 1-year measure would save taxpayers more than $5.5 billion, he said.
“Currently, at least 24 states, and nearly three quarters of a million workers, are undertaking a budget-cutting maneuver that I believe we should institute at the federal level: short-term employee furloughs,” Coffman explained. “These states, across the nation, along with city and county government counterparts, recognize that occasional worker furloughs are necessary to cut budgets and hold down spending.”
Coffman added, “Furlough Fridays are becoming a common occurrence for state and local governments. They present slight problems but they provide large solutions to the budget troubles we face.” Managed appropriately, and with exceptions provided for national security or reasons related to public health and safety, he said furloughs would be a viable solution for the federal government, too.