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Fed-Heavy Districts Didn’t Get Uniform Voting Bloc

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer on Friday blasted a plan to reduce pensions for new federal workers to help pay for a payroll tax cut bill.

The payroll tax plan passed the House on Friday 293-132, with many of the 91 Republican defectors attributing their “no” votes to the fact that the payroll tax relief was not offset. Still others said they voted “yes” to give families some financial relief in the recovering economy.

Wittman, whose Virginia district is home to more than 37,000 active and retired federal workers largely employed by the Defense Department and NASA, said he voted for the package to help “individuals and families continuing to struggle in this economy.”

Still, the Republican added that “it is concerning to me that federal workers have become a target for revenue while this Congress and the administration have failed to address the real drivers of our deficit or real tax reform.”

President Barack Obama announced a freeze on federal pay in 2010, and it was extended in the temporary payroll tax deal that was passed in December. He also proposed in January a plan that would give him the authority to reorganize and tighten government bureaucracy. Obama called on Congress earlier this week to pass legislation giving him that authority, but his plea drew little reaction from House Republicans, who were cool to his plan.

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