Updated at 12:36 p.m. on November 29.
President Obama announced today that he's proposing a two-year pay freeze to civilian military and federal employees to help reduce the federal deficit and ensure America remains competitive in the years to come.
"I did not reach this decision easily," Obama said during a press conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. "This is not just a line item on a federal ledger. These are people's lives."
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He noted, as did other officials, that he has already taken steps to reduce unnecessary spending, including proposing a three-year freeze on all non-security discretionary spending.
The pay freeze would save $5 billion during the next two years, and $28 billion during the next five years. The White House also projects that the freeze will save more than $60 billion during the next 10 years. Congress would have to approve the pay freeze.
"This is about finding ways to deal with the deficit and cut spending," said Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Jeffrey Zients in a conference call with reporters ahead of Obama's announcement.