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house Bill H.R. 417

Does the Number of Federal Employees Need to Shrink by 10 Percent?

Argument in favor

The federal workforce is bloated, and to help bring the deficit under control the number of employees needs to be reduced. Doing so by attrition rather than laying off workers is the best way of going about it.

Stephen's Opinion
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11/12/2016
Attrition is a start. We need to shrink the federal employment far more than that. The federal government is the largest employer in the US and none of them add any value to the economy.
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Kyler's Opinion
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11/12/2016
I'm sure it'd be more than easy to find 10% of waste to cut in the Feds. I believe we should cut more federal jobs than that. The Feds were NEVER suppose to be this big and this totalitarian. So 10% is a good start
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Loraki's Opinion
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11/12/2016
Yeah, at LEAST 10%! I'd rather see a few agencies abolished, but this is a start. I expect President Trump will see that further cuts are made! Hopefully, we'll start seeing fewer REGULATIONS, too! Also, it will help towards balancing the budget and maybe decreasing the deficit.
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Argument opposed

Reducing the size of the federal workforce by 10 percent seems arbitrary, and there’s nothing stopping the government from spending that money elsewhere. Besides, wouldn’t it be better to just fire them right away?

B.R.'s Opinion
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11/12/2016
While I can understand the desire to reduce the federal workforce, thus expenses, I believe that the proper way to accomplish this is to have an industrial engineer to do a study (workflow analysis) to determine the appropriate reductions. This way the determination is based on thoughtful analysis rather than an arbitrary decision. In a new administration, it is important to do things right and to have an acceptable justification in doing so when communicating to the people.
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Mar21's Opinion
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11/12/2016
Make this a case-by-case decision. I wouldn't want valuable people to lose their jobs in order to meet an arbitrary quota.
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Alis's Opinion
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11/12/2016
HELL NO! (Why is it conservatives think government and, by extension, government employees are the enemy? Is this the Goldwater/Reagan cool-aid? Whether or not you Freedom Caucus, Ayn Rand, I-am-totally-independent-and need-no-one conservatives like it or not, human beings are social animals. We live a collective life because we survive better as a group than as isolated individuals. You have been condemning & judging those of us who feel have we have responsibility for one another since 1964. Now that you have amassed decisive power is your goal actually to create chaos, to do mortal harm our shared life as though selfishness is a Christian value? Because I'm old, I feel no sadness at the prospect of ending my already long life early. Still, not everyone is as expendable as I am & you are frightening your fellow citizens with the threat of a police state in which healthcare & education are only available to the white super wealthy. You are threatening to destroy the diversity that made us strong & exceptional. Government is a force for good. Government employees make it work. I hear your argument that government is harming the economy but I notice the Dow is over 17,000. I also notice that all the wealth is going UP to your cronies and they are doing exceptionally well. The truth is your like government A LOT, you just don't want ordinary people to benefit. As long as you are okay & your deserving super rich friends are getting EVERYTHING, government is great. If normal unworthy people want to live lives above the poverty level with adequate & affordable health care, secure jobs with living wages then government is the worst thing the founding fathers ever thought up. If you like anarchy so much, GO TO SOMALIA! And leave the rest of us alone!)
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 20th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 417?

This bill would seek to reduce the total number of federal employees by establishing a process for limiting new hires based on the number of workers who have retired or left their jobs. It would require a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce, which would be maintained thereafter.

For every three federal employees that retire or leave their job, one new hire would be permitted. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would make an assessment each quarter whether new hires exceed the 1-to-3 ratio.

If the OMB finds that the ratio has been violated, a hiring freeze would go into effect until the ratio is back in compliance. To prevent vacated positions from being backfilled by service contracts, the decrease in federal employment would be matched by a decrease in service contracts procured.

There would be an exception, as the president could waive the rule because of war, national security, or an extraordinary emergency that threatens the life, health, safety, or property of Americans.

Impact

Federal agencies whose workers retire or leave the service and hire new employees; and the OMB.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 417

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced this bill, which she claims will save an estimated $35 billion over five years without having to force any current federal employees out of a job:

“Attrition is a solution that requires the federal government to do what any business, state, or local government would do to cut costs—limit new hires. Instead of blindly filling empty desks, this bill forces agencies to take a step back, consider which positions are crucial, and make decisions based on necessity rather than luxury. Real, productive job creation takes place on Main Street America not in the bloated federal government.”

This legislation has the support of eight cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.


Of Note: According to the Federal Times, this bill would, over time, reduce the size of the federal workforce by more than 200,000 employees.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: FEMA / Creative Commons)

AKA

Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act

Official Title

To reduce the total number of civil service employees in the executive branch of the Government through attrition, and for other purposes.

    Attrition is a start. We need to shrink the federal employment far more than that. The federal government is the largest employer in the US and none of them add any value to the economy.
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    While I can understand the desire to reduce the federal workforce, thus expenses, I believe that the proper way to accomplish this is to have an industrial engineer to do a study (workflow analysis) to determine the appropriate reductions. This way the determination is based on thoughtful analysis rather than an arbitrary decision. In a new administration, it is important to do things right and to have an acceptable justification in doing so when communicating to the people.
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    Make this a case-by-case decision. I wouldn't want valuable people to lose their jobs in order to meet an arbitrary quota.
    Like (65)
    Follow
    Share
    HELL NO! (Why is it conservatives think government and, by extension, government employees are the enemy? Is this the Goldwater/Reagan cool-aid? Whether or not you Freedom Caucus, Ayn Rand, I-am-totally-independent-and need-no-one conservatives like it or not, human beings are social animals. We live a collective life because we survive better as a group than as isolated individuals. You have been condemning & judging those of us who feel have we have responsibility for one another since 1964. Now that you have amassed decisive power is your goal actually to create chaos, to do mortal harm our shared life as though selfishness is a Christian value? Because I'm old, I feel no sadness at the prospect of ending my already long life early. Still, not everyone is as expendable as I am & you are frightening your fellow citizens with the threat of a police state in which healthcare & education are only available to the white super wealthy. You are threatening to destroy the diversity that made us strong & exceptional. Government is a force for good. Government employees make it work. I hear your argument that government is harming the economy but I notice the Dow is over 17,000. I also notice that all the wealth is going UP to your cronies and they are doing exceptionally well. The truth is your like government A LOT, you just don't want ordinary people to benefit. As long as you are okay & your deserving super rich friends are getting EVERYTHING, government is great. If normal unworthy people want to live lives above the poverty level with adequate & affordable health care, secure jobs with living wages then government is the worst thing the founding fathers ever thought up. If you like anarchy so much, GO TO SOMALIA! And leave the rest of us alone!)
    Like (28)
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    Shouldn't we do this on a department/agency basis? It seems ridiculous to assume that 10% of all government employees are expendable. I'm all for cutting the fat out of government, but this seems a little too much like a knee jerk reaction as opposed to a thoughtful solution.
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    I'm sure it'd be more than easy to find 10% of waste to cut in the Feds. I believe we should cut more federal jobs than that. The Feds were NEVER suppose to be this big and this totalitarian. So 10% is a good start
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    This needs to be more thought out. I like the idea of reducing the federal workforce but it cannot be by an arbitrary amount and without knowing the consequences.
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    Yeah, at LEAST 10%! I'd rather see a few agencies abolished, but this is a start. I expect President Trump will see that further cuts are made! Hopefully, we'll start seeing fewer REGULATIONS, too! Also, it will help towards balancing the budget and maybe decreasing the deficit.
    Like (14)
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    Federal employees are necessary for the smooth functioning of many programs in the government that have a significant impact on the economy as a whole. This bill seems reactionary and not well thought out. A targeted reduction with a cost benefit analysis could be more effective and have more productive effects. Do we want to cut the scientist at the CDC while we face ebolla or zika? Pennywise and dollar foolish...
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    I think it needs to be reduced by 25%. To many deadbeat drones doing nothing!
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    1. Not sure doing a hiring freeze is the best idea. Yes, it'll reduce cost, but it's important to have room for fresh blood / new ideas. If you want to downsize, why don't you do the cut based on performance? 2. I hope that there is sound reasoning behind the 10% number. Can you specify exactly why that's the number?
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    This proposal, though efficient in cutting costs, is too unfocused and is likely to disrupt many government services to citizens that need them. In stead consider a milder starting option. Ken Calvert's REDUCE Act does a similar job but only within the department of defense's civilian workforce. This would give us a good starting point to see what this type of attrition based cost cutting can do, both positively and negatively, and will allow us to propose the same bill for other agencies, one at a time, with more data to support their claims. It will take longer, but slower change isn't a bad thing as long as it is focused and consistent. In this time of transition to a fully Republican administration, I believe it is important that they make changes at a measured pace. Quick sweeping strokes of the legislative pen could result in a hastily cobbled together republican era that may not last as opposed to a carefully constructed and well planned republican era that has a chance to really make a difference.
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    Cuts and reform are needed. Waiting for people to retire seems like an inefficient way to go about it.
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    But also by actual cuts as well.
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    Targeted reductions are more effective than blanket reductions.
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    Our federal government has become so large that it now serves its own self interests and not those of the people. Hillary Clinton is the proverbial poster child for the problem, becoming immensely wealthy through what is now a crony system.
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    By at least 10%. Probably by 10 times 10%. We cannot afford the government that we have. But here's the key. Rather than trimming everything by some arbitrary percentage and making every agency a little smaller, maybe a little more streamlined, but still in existence, how about you just eliminate entire agencies altogether? Trim 10% of the total, but all in one agency. One at a time. Maybe start with the unconstitutional ones. Which brings me back to that "10 times 10%" figure.
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    Absolutely not. We cannot repeal existing agencies' ability to staff themselves and put the power in the presidents hands to lift the ban. Too much power in the Oval Office.
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    If your job is to make sure someone else has a job, then you should not have a job yourself. #cutthetenpercent
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    Every job in the government needs to be evaluated. 30% would be a good start for job elimination.
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