Fearing a political backlash from the nation's weekend warriors, Congress this year will ignore an administration proposal to slash $30 million in "overlapping" pay to federal civilians in military reserve units.
Pentagon officials estimate that one of every eight national guardsmen or military reservists in the nation now is a federal employe.
Leaders in both the Senate and House have decided not to act on White House bills to eliminate "double-dipping" by U.S. guard and military personnel until after the 1978 elections.
Thanks to the general government policy regarding military leave, a civil servant who goes for summer training with a reserve unit gets his (or her) full federal civilian salary, plus full military pay.
Unlike many private firms who require workers to take some or all their vacation time for summer military training, the government by law allows federal workers to have up to 15 days military leave a year without charge to annual leave (vacation) time.
Pentagon manpower experts say that more than 100,000 of the nation's 816,000 reservists and guard personnel are federal civilian employes.
Pentagon cost-cutters say a reduction in the dual military-civilian pay and leave policy would save $30 million a year. Put another way, that is $30 million that federal employes who serve in guard or reserve units would not get if the proposal becomes law.
Although cutbacks in the dual payments have the White House seal of approval, high military and civilian figures oppose it. They warn that it could cause many reserve and guard units to lose large numbers of their best citizen-soldiers who might quit if they lost the pay and leave incentives.
In the Washington area, where government is the major employer, some reserve and national guard units are made up almost exclusively of government workers. The percentage of federal employes is highest in the NCO and officer ranks. Most of the long-service reservists who remain in military units after completing all their obligations count on the extra pay as part of their family budgets.
The proposal to cut back the generous federal military pay and leave policy for government workers is not politically popular in either the Senate or House. The bills were introduced this year as a "courtesy" to the administration. The House Post Office-Civil Service Committee and Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will handle them. But not too quickly.
"It would be fair to say that this isn't our top priority bill this year," a staff member said. "In fact, I'd say that this doesn't have much priority even in the 'low priority' category."
Officials expect Congress will begin serious work on the dual pay cutback plan next year, after the dust from the November elections has settled.
Rep. Gladys N. Spellman (D-Md.) will be honored at a $15-a-plate Navy Yard banquet July 14 by Washington area locals of the American Federation of Government Employes. The fund-raiser is to build up the union's "political action" war chest. It will be used to help friendly members of Congress stay in Congress and stay friendly.
Irving Sommer of Securities and Exchange Commission is the new president of the Federal Administration Law Judges Conference. Other officers include judges William J. O'Brien. Interstate Commerce Commission: David W. Miller, Environmental Protection Agency; Benjamin G. Usher, Occupational Safety-Health Review Commission and Michel Levant, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Veterans Administration Alumni Club will hold its Thursday luncheon at the Almas Temple, 1315 K St. NW. Contact Ona Sams, 998-8005 for details.
Michael Ross, head of the Air Force Special Investigations School, here, has retired after 30 years with government, both as military and civilian sleuth.