WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Congress should cut the U.S. government workforce by 200,000 and freeze civilian federal salaries for three years, a Republican lawmaker proposed.
The Cut Unsustainable and Top-heavy Spending, or CUTS, Act would cut spending $153 billion over five years, bringing the federal government in line with the private sector in seeking to do more with less, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said.
"There's not a business in America that's survived this recession without rightsizing its workforce, without having to become more productive with fewer workers," said Brady, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, one of four standing joint congressional committees. "The federal government can't be the exception.
"We're going to have to find a way to serve our constituents and our taxpayers better and quicker and more accurately with fewer workers," he said. "I'm convinced we can do it -- and we don't have a choice."
His bill -- the first detailed series of spending proposals introduced in the Republican-controlled House that targets government operations and the federal workforce -- supports some recommendations of President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, charged with reforming federal spending.
National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley said the bill "would leave federal agencies understaffed and underfunded."