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Begich Statement on President’s Federal Pay Freeze Proposal

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama's proposal today to freeze the pay of all civilian federal employees for 2011 and 2012. The move, if approved by Congress, is expected to save $60 billion over ten years as part of an effort to reduce federal spending and the deficit.

"Freezing the pay of civilian federal employees is more than symbolic - it will save a projected $60 billion over the next decade. Alaska is home to nearly 11,000 of these employees, who contribute enormously to our state and support their families with their paychecks. I'll take a hard look at this proposal when it reaches the Senate, but my view is that every American will be called on to help reduce America's budget deficit which has built up over the past decade due to lack of fiscal responsibility.

"There's no question that painful decisions must be made to tackle the nation's budget deficit, a problem created by and which must be solved by Democrats and Republicans alike. That's why I welcome the release of the proposals later this week of the President's Deficit Commission and why I have supported other measures to reduce federal spending, including "pay-go" legislation and a 3 percent cut in discretionary spending."

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