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Obama's freeze effects 6,792 Knoxville employees

By Jeaneane Payne

President Obama faced a $1.3 trillion projected deficit upon taking office and an economic crisis that threatened to put the nation into a second Great Depression. "Just as families and businesses around the nation have tightened their belts so must their government," said Press Secretary Gibbs. "That must be done in a targeted way that focuses our investments in what works and in what will lay the foundation for job creation and economic growth for years to come while cutting back elsewhere in our budget."

As a result, the President has decided to propose a freeze in civilian pay for federal employees for two years, 2011 and 2012. It is anticipated that this two-year pay freeze will save $2 billion for the remainder of FY 2011, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years. This freeze will apply to all civilian federal employees, including those in various alternative pay plans and those working at the Department of Defense – but not military personnel.

"This freeze is not to punish federal workers or to disrespect the work that they do. It is the first of many actions we will take in the upcoming budget to put our nation on sound fiscal footing – which will ask for some sacrifice from us all," said Gibbs. "This was a decision that was not made lightly. From the doctors and nurses who care for our veterans to the scientists searching for better treatments and cures, the men and women who care for our national parks, and the thousands who make sure that the Social Security check is in the mail and that students get their scholarships, federal workers serve their fellow Americans. They do so often with great sacrifice and motivated by a patriotic love for their country."

The freeze effects 49,271 federal employees in the state of Tennessee with 6,792 of those employees being in the Knoxville area.

Published November 29, 2010

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