House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told The Daily Caller that federal employees should not have to “carry an undue burden” by paying more into their pensions to fund legislation that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for a full year.
“No, no. I think that we can do better than that. I support the actions of Mr. Hoyer who’s been a leader on this,” Pelosi told TheDC on Capitol Hill Thursday.
“Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Cardin, to name a few of the — a couple of the conferees plus our distinguished Whip who’s been a champion for our federal employees. They do great work for our country. We all have to make sacrifices in this. They should not carry an undue burden.”
Congressional negotiators had reportedly considered requiring all federal employees to contribute an additional 1.5 percent into their pensions to partially pay for a package that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. At this point, they have agreed to require only new federal employees to put an additional 2.3 percent of their salaries toward pensions.
Pelosi also praised President Obama’s leadership in advocating for the payroll tax cut portion of the approximately $150 billion package without paying for it through spending cuts elsewhere.
“The payroll tax cut unpaid for, I think, responds to the argument that we have been making: Why are we paying for this when we don’t pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country? I just think this was something that happened because the public was fully aware of it and I salute the president for his leadership,” Pelosi said.
From 2005-2010, on average, the “benefits earned by federal civilian employees cost 48 percent more than the benefits earned by private-sector employees with certain similar observable characteristics,” according to the Congressional Budget Office. Federal employees also earned two percent more on average than those in the private sector.