Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Freshman leader of key House panel says
he'll focus on federal payroll cuts

From Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post on Jan. 18:
The new chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for federal workers and the U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday that he plans to focus first on potential cuts to the federal payroll.

Freshman Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-Fla.), a former lawyer for Disney World, will serve as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's subcommittee on federal workers, the Postal Service and labor policy. The panel's chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), tapped Ross and another freshman, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), to lead the panel, placing two of Capitol Hill's newest faces at the center of emerging debates over proposed cutbacks in federal pay and benefits and an overhaul of the beleaguered USPS.

Ross, 51, who represents Florida's 12th District, served in the state legislature before coming to Washington and once handled workers' compensation and entertainment contract issues for Disney World. Amash, 30, is the House's second-youngest member, and party leaders credit him with being among the first politicians to post detailed explanations of his votes on Facebook during his two years in the Michigan House.

Though the full oversight committee is expected to spend the first few weeks of the new Congress holding hearings on corruption in Afghanistan, the release of classified diplomatic cables by WikiLeakds and the nation's recent economic downturn, Issa said he wants Ross to explore building "a 21st-century federal workforce that no longer grows itself at the expense of private-sector job creation, and gets more done with less." Preventing "a fiscal meltdown" at the USPS is also "one of the central priorities" of the new Congress, Issa said in a statement.


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