WASHINGTON (RNN) - In a televised address to the nation Monday, President Barack Obama announced a pay freeze for federal employees in an attempt to rein in the federal debt.
The pay freeze, which will begin in 2011 and continue for two years, will save an estimated $2 billion during its first year. Over the next decade, the White House expects to save 30 times that, he said.
"Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices," Obama said.
All civilian federal employees, excluding military personnel, will be included in the freeze.
Part of correcting the government's long-term fiscal course, he said, requires the federal government to tighten its belt, just as American families have done during the past two years.
"I'm asking civil servants to do what they've always done - play their part," the president said.
The pay freeze would be the first of several tweaks to come to the federal budget, he said.
During his speech, Obama called on legislators to put politics aside while also blaming the previous decade's "irresponsibility" for the nation's $1.3 million in debt.
He said bipartisan reform would be necessary to solve the nation's economic problems.
"My hope is that starting today, we can create a bipartisan conversation about our future," Obama said, adding that the goals for "both sides" bust be the same: To grow the economy, put people back to work and secure the future of the American dream.
A bipartisan report on government spending will be released tomorrow, Obama said.