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A bill that includes a proposal to cut the federal
government's annual travel budget by 75 percent was introduced in the Senate
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the
bill's sponsors, said the government's annual travel spending currently tops
$15 billion a year, "a figure that is no longer necessary or
The provision is part of the Federal Workforce Reduction and
Reform Act of 2011, which aims to reduce federal spending by more than $600
billion over the next decade.
The bill also proposed extending the current pay freeze on
federal civilian employees' salaries by three years, freezing bonuses for three
more years and reducing the size of the federal contracted workforce by 15
percent over the next 10 years.
The legislation was proposed after President Barack Obama
signed a debt-ceiling agreement calling for $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over
the next 10 years.
While Geoff Freeman, executive vice president of the U.S.
Travel Association, said that government spending cuts "are
necessary," he added that "a 75 percent arbitrary cut in government
travel is not good for taxpayers, it's not good for the employees of these
agencies who have important work to get done, and it's certainly not good for
the millions of employees in our industry who contribute to local economies
dependent on this income coming in."
Agencies that book travel for the growing federal workforce
don't appear to be worried yet about having to scale back. A representative of
Carlson Wagonlit Travel, which operates government-travel division
CWTSatoTravel, said it was too soon to comment on the proposed legislation and
that it wasn't the first time there has been a proposed cut to the government's
Source: Travel Weekly
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