The Senate and House have approved a bill that would fund the federal government through March 4th and freeze federal employee pay increases for two years. You can download the entire bill here.
The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday. The House approved the bill Tuesday evening by a vote of 193-165.
The bill is not a law yet as it has to be signed by the President. As the current continuing resolution expires at midnight tonight, the House is expected to approve the bill and the President is expected to sign it before that time.
The measure is needed because Congress has not passed a single one of the 12 annual spending bills that fund the day-to-day operations of every federal agency.
Section 7 of this bill is entitled: “Federal Civilian Pay Freeze.”
This part of the bill reads:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, …no statutory pay adjustment which (but for this subsection) would otherwise take effect during the period beginning on January 1, 2011, and ending on December 31, 2012, shall be made.”
As we have previously reported to readers, this pay freeze does not go far enough to satisfy some in Congress and more extensive pay restrictions may be in the news when the next Congress convenes. See Another (More Substantive) Pay Freeze for Federal Employees In the Congressional Pipeline?
If that does occur, we will provide readers with more information as it becomes available. We do know that a bill will be introduced using the recommendations of the deficit reduction commission as a basis for cutting government spending. Some of these commission recommendations would impact the financial future of federal employees such as changing how retirement annuities are calculated or possible changes to future Social Security payments for those readers who may be planning on Social Security as part of their retirement income. What we will not know until the bill is introduced is whether these changes will be part of the consideration of how Congress will try to reduce future federal spending.