U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced a bipartisan bill to reform the Border Patrol agent pay system, aiming to save up to $1 billion over the next 10 years, a press release from McCain's office said.
This act would provide a more reliable pay and work schedules for agents, as what they're currently using was established more than 40 years ago.
"Spending cuts due to sequestration, coupled with an archaic and inefficient pay scale, put at risk the safety of Border Patrol agents, and threaten to reverse much of the progress these agents have made along the border over the last few years," McCain said in a statement. "This legislation stabilizes and restructures the...pay scale, allowing agents to put in the hours needed to secure the border while saving taxpayers millions of dollars each year."
The legislation comes in the midst of a recent federal government report that showed Homeland Security employees abused a fund meant to compensate employees, who work beyond normal business hours. It was estimated that such practice cost taxpayers millions of dollars, the press release said.
Tester, who is the chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, plans to hold a hearing to examine the overtime abuse issue on Dec. 10.
“Establishing this new pay schedule will make our borders more secure and save taxpayer dollars," Tester said. "This much needed bill is the product of folks working together to find common ground, and I look forward to seeing it become law.”
An identical bill was also introduced in the House of Representatives.