H.R. 6134-This one will never see the light of day

In every session of Congress there are a plethora of bills which are submitted to various committees where their fate is determined by our elected representatives. Many bills are quietly killed in committee, some are incorporated into other seemingly unrelated legislation and a lucky few are passed out of committee and eventually brought to the floor.

One bill which is destined to die a quick death in committee is H.R. 6134 . Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced his bill by stating that.

"Currently, at least 24 states, and nearly three quarters of a million workers, are undertaking a budget-cutting maneuver that I believe we should institute at the federal level; short term employee furloughs. These states, across the nation, along with city and county government counterparts, recognize that occasional worker furloughs are necessary to cut budgets and hold down spending. It also has the benefit of ensuring that federal workers are not sheltered from the realities of life in today's economy."

"One of the most unpleasant adjustments a former small businessman or former state legislator-and I am both-faces in coming to Washington is the unlimited ability of the federal government to deficit spend. Furlough Fridays are becoming a common occurrence for state and local governments. They present slight problems but they provide large solutions to the budget troubles we face. I believe that managed appropriately, with due allowance for vital and national security implications, as specified in this bill, they can do the same for the federal government."

Section one in Coffman's bill calls for a 10% reduction in pay for all members of the House of Representatives (including the Speaker) and each member of the Senate (including the majority leader). This provision would certainly make sense to the many millions of Americans who have been working harder and doing more for less compensation during the current recession. In addition the growing numbers the unemployed might feel that their representatives were sharing their pain-just a little bit.

Section two regards the mandatory two weeks of unpaid furlough for federal workers with the exception of employees who are essential to our national security, public health and safety and effective law enforcement. As with the private sector quality service could be maintained as long as everyone pitches in and works a little harder.

Section three requires a small reduction in salaries and expenses for legislative branch offices, it states.

(a) Reduction-The aggregate amount which may be appropriated or otherwise made available for any fiscal year for allowances and expenses (including salaries) of any office of the legislative branch may not exceed 96% of the aggregate amount appropriated or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2010 for allowances and expenses of such office.

This simple 2 ½ page bill would save the tax payers more than $5.5 billion dollars. Considering the overall budget (or lack thereof) this may not seem like a lot of money, but it is significant and it does represent a common sense attempt at fiscal responsibility.

H.R. 6134 was sent to the Committee on House Administration and the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and the Judiciary on September 15th. My guess is that Coffman's bill will never see the light of day. A bill requiring our elected representatives to share our suffering (most of it created by them) to take a pay cut is never going to be received warmly by the D.C. denizens. Just wait until the American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO) and their fellow travelers in organized labor catch wind of Coffman's bill, this isn't the kind of government that they have bought and paid for.

It was a nice try Mr. Coffman, but your bill makes far to much sense for the current leadership of our country. Maybe the 112th Congress will be wont to serve their constituents.