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Federal employee pay has been a target in cost-cutting efforts by the President and Congress, aided by a public perception of feds as overpaid "fat cats." Claims about public vs. private pay have swung widely - from the Federal Salary Council's data that shows feds are paid 24 percent less than the private sector, to a Cato Institute report that says feds are paid double the private sector. What's the reality? Federal News Radio brings you interviews and analysis on the federal pay debate.
Federal News Radio budget analysis round-up
Monday - 4/4/2011, 4:47pm EDT
Federal Drive host Tom Temin said the problem is "the liberal Democratic leadership is never quite liberal enough for their extreme wing of the party and the conservative Republican Party is never conservative enough for their right wing of the party. So you have this gravitational pull from any kind of middle that the leadership could conceivably achieve."
Temin added it's "not a healthy cauldron mix."
It's uncertain if Congress will be able to pull off a compromise in the coming days, said Federal Drive host Amy Morris.
"Can they create a miracle by midnight tomorrow or even midnight Friday?" she said. "I don't know."
Beyond the current fiscal year's budget, Congress still has another battle ahead to pass a budget for the 2012 fiscal year. Temin said he does not think Congress will be able to pass a 2012 plan before the Sept. 30 end of the current fiscal year.
"The gulf is going to be even wider," he said.
On top of a looming shutdown, some feds are also concerned about some of the legislation targeting their pay and benefits. (see the Federal News Radio Bill Tracker.)
Causey said federal employees tell him they feel the cost-cutting targets on their pay and benefits are unfair. Causey said feds have told him, "When times are good, nobody pays attention to us. When times are bad, we're the fat cats, we're the whipping boys."