Proposed Funding Freeze on Step Increases and Federal Promotions Not Included in House Budget

No doubt, many in the federal workforce were concerned about proposed amendments to the fiscal year 2011 budget which would have frozen funding for within-grade step increases and for promotions for federal employees. The budget has now passed the House without including these amendments.

House Republicans have passed legislation to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year which ends on September 30th. The budget passed after an all-night session Friday that went into early Saturday morning.

The good news for federal employees is that amendments proposed to HR 1, the continuing resolution bill which had about 600 proposed amendments, did not include proposed amendments to withhold funding for within-grade increases or for promotions of federal employees. (See Freezing Federal Employee Pay (Done!) and Restricting Within-Grade Increases and Promotions (Proposed!) )

There were 583 proposed amendments to a resolution funding the federal government through September. 153 of those amendments were considered on the House floor and 67 of them ended up being adopted by the House. Here is a listing of the amendments that passed in the House budget this weekend.

Here is a list of the amendments that were approved in the House bill.

The Senate will now work on its version of the budget but it will be delayed until the first week of March as the Senate will not be in session next week due to the President’s Day recess.

The current continuing resolution expires on March 4th. With Democrats pushing to keep spending at 2010 levels for the remainder of this year, the two parties will go through a negotiation process that starts with a $61 billion difference in a budget that totals more than three trillion dollars.

Since October 1, 2010,  agencies have been funded through a series of continuing resolutions. Much of the talk among the political class and the federal community in Washington is focused on speculation of a government shutdown.

The president’s proposed budget for 2012 projects the federal government will run a deficit of $1.645 trillion this year, topping 2009’s previous record by more than $230 billion. The deficit in 2007 was just $160 billion. The budget proposed by the White House for 2012 projects that in 2011 the United States will have its biggest one-year debt jump in history approaching $2 trillion with a debt of $15.476 trillion by September 30th. That figure would be 102.6 percent of our Gross Domestic Product — the first time since World War II that figure has been reached.

No doubt, there will be new developments as Congress works to pass a budget for the six and a half months remaining in the current fiscal year. But, for now, those who were concerned about cutting funding for promotions and within-grade increases for federal employees in the current fiscal year can sleep better at night.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47