U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said House and Senate Republicans have proposed legislation to freeze the salaries of the country's 2 million federal employees, but Democrats voted down each effort, The Hill reported Thursday.
Speaking in Cleveland this week, Boehner said: "We've seen not just more government jobs, but better-paying ones too." His appearance Tuesday was billed as a major speech on economic policy, the report said.
Democrats disagreed with Boehner's assessment.
"These are people who are working in the public interest, and who serve the very public we represent," U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said in an e-mail to The Hill. "Shame on John Boehner for yielding to that temptation for short-term political gain at long-term cost political cost."
Boehner said federal employees have become part of an exclusive interest group protected by Democrats.
"Federal employees now make on average more than double what private sector workers take in," Boehner said in Tuesday's address. "More appalling is the fact that this gap more than doubled in President Obama's first year in office -- during a time when millions of private sector workers either lost their jobs or agreed to take pay cuts just to keep the one they have."