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Bush Cites 'National Emergency' to Limit Federal Workers' Raises

August 28, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush said Wednesday he will cut the pay raises that most civilian federal employees were to receive in January.

In a letter to congressional leaders, Bush said he was using his authority to change the pay structure in times of "national emergency or serious economic conditions" to limit raises to 2%.

Federal employees covered by the government's general schedule pay system were to receive a 2.7% across-the-board boost of basic pay and also an increase based on private-sector wages in the areas where they work, called locality pay.

Bush said granting those full raises would cost about $11 billion more than he had proposed in his budget.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said the president's action was "shameful and makes clear that Bush is making federal employees pay for his own fiscal recklessness."

The government faces a record $480-billion shortfall in 2004, congressional budget analysts said this week.

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