In these times of secretive deficit super committee meetings, back-room pressuring on particular proposals and endless speculation on what the panel will wind up doing, it might be a good idea not to leave internal working deficit-reduction documents lying around the Capitol.
TPM got a hold of what appears to be an internal GOP Super Committee wish list — a chart of working proposals for finding hundreds of billions of dollars in cost savings. A source recently forwarded the documents after finding them lying on a table outside the Speaker’s lobby at the end of August, just when members selected to serve on the joint-deficit panel were being announced.
Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) office confirmed that some of the papers originated from Republican staffers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, whch Issa chairs, although Issa spokesman Frederick Hill would not speculate on who left them lying there.
A document containing a chart of different super committee proposals, Hill said, is just a list of options the committee has collected, not an exhaustive outline of proposals Issa has endorsed.
“Many of these things were an effort on the part of the staff to make a list for consideration of ideas that different entities have thrown out, including the bipartisan fiscal commission,” Hill said.
Most of the ideas focused on finding costs savings by reducing the federal workforce, eliminating cost-of-living increases for federal workers and increasing the amount federal employees contribute to their retirements and list either the bipartisan “fiscal commission,” the “House budget resolution” or the Congressional Budget Office as the source of the ideas.
But one idea identifies “Chairman Issa” as the source, while another lists “leadership discussions,” an apparent reference to ideas being floated around the GOP leadership table run by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
Issa’s idea would eliminate “periodic step increases” for federal employees’ salaries and is estimated to save $1 billion.
“Federal employees receive periodic step increases driven largely by passage of time equivalent to three percent of basic pay,” the doc states.
The other proposal, credited to “leadership,” would “update” the Federal Employee Retirement System for existing employees by increasing the employee share by half a percentage point, and up the the employee contribution for new employees to 4 percent of pay, among other ideas.
The chart does not list what the cost savings would be for making the changes. The leadership ideas appears just above another calling for the elimination of the federal retirement system for all new hires, which would save “$4.9 billion,” and is listed as being included in the House budget resolution.
The source forwarded other documents, which TPM is in the process of reviewing.
You can read the first House Oversight and Government Reform document here.
Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day with DayBreaker. Sign up here, it takes just a few seconds.