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Campus Notebook: Barack Obama Budget Increases Legislative Branch Spending

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
The president’s budget proposal for fiscal 2013 is delivered to the Cannon House Office Building.

While the two-year pay freeze is expected to save more than $60 billion over 10 years, the 0.5 percent boost in paychecks would save up to $2 billion in 2013 and $28 billion during the next decade.

The House passed legislation two weeks ago to freeze government employees’ pay in 2013, and some Senators have proposed flatlining federal paychecks through 2014 to offset next year’s expected sequestration of the defense budget.

“No federal employee should be getting a raise at the same time we are shrinking our national defense to the lowest share of our budget since the founding of the Republic,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee, lauded Obama’s recommendation as a step in the right direction.

President Endorses D.C. Budget Autonomy

The fiscal 2013 budget signaled the administration’s desire to unlink the District of Columbia from the Congressional appropriations process.

In his fiscal 2013 budget proposal, the president included language pledging to “work with Congress and the Mayor to pass legislation to amend the D.C. Home Rule Act to provide the District with local budget autonomy.”

Though Obama has expressed support for budget autonomy in the past, this is the first indication of his willingness to lend a hand in that process.

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) promised late last year to shepherd a bill that would let the District set its own budget on its own schedule.

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