UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
McLennan Co.-- In an effort to cut the nation's deficit, President Obama has proposed a pay freeze for federal workers. This decision could affect thousands of workers on the government payroll in McLennan County.
More than 3,000 federal employees in McLennan County will be at a salary stand still for the next two years if a proposal for a wage freeze passes Congress. A move Baylor Economics Professor, John Pisciotta, says is partially symbolic to show the administration is going to do more to cut back spending.
"Over the past decade, government pay has increased at a much faster rate than private sector pay. So, I think that's part of the rational and justification for this," said Pisciotta.
Obama says the two year freeze should save more than $5 billion or $28 billion over five years. Scott Connell with The Waco Chamber says two of the biggest employers in Waco that will have to implement the freeze are the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and VA Regional Office.
"So long as there aren't layoffs, we'll be okay, but certainly the ability for them to grow and each one of them has plans for growth, we want to make sure that can continue and this may slow that process a little bit," said Connell.
More than 800 people working here at the va medical center will be effected by the freeze, causing concerns their salaries wont be worth what they are today, in two years. Economists say those concerns come after forecasts of a higher cost of living over the next two years, showing a one to two percent increase.
Obama made clear the pay freeze wont apply to those in the armed forces. But, more plans to build the economy will be on the table this week.