Continued from page 1

“While private-sector workers face the squeeze and millions of families continue searching for work, the idea of asking that their hard-earned tax dollars go to fund a pay raise for government employees is just not right,” said Rep. Sean P. Duffy, the Wisconsin Republican who is sponsoring the freeze bill.

But Democrats are balking this time.

After supporting the pay freeze for the past two years, the White House objected in December when Republicans proposed continuing the freeze and using the savings to cover some of the costs of extending the payroll-tax cut into 2012.

Administration officials first said they planned to use the money elsewhere, and then planned to allow a half-percent pay increase for federal workers.

The White House did not respond to a request seeking comment on the CBO report.

The government spent about $200 billion on salaries in 2011, with $80 billion going to pay for the military and $120 billion covering civilian employees governmentwide.

The federal government employs about 2.3 million civilian workers, which is about 1.7 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Another 2.3 million uniformed personnel are employed, including 1 million reservists, and 800,00 people work for government enterprises such as the Postal Service.