House Democrats’ Bill to Reopen Government Includes Pay Raise

House Democrats have unveiled legislation to end the partial government shutdown that includes a pay raise for federal employees.

Legislation that has been put forth in the new House to end the partial government shutdown includes a 1.9% pay raise for federal employees.

House Democrats plan to hold a vote on the bill after the new Congress convenes, the first day of which is tomorrow, January 3, 2019.

President Trump formalized the pay freeze for 2019 that was proposed earlier this year, and the Office of Personnel Management has already published pay tables for 2019 that show no pay increase. There were six new locality pay areas included in the 2019 General Schedule pay tables.

It is entirely possible that Congress will eventually override the president’s proposed pay freeze in 2019. It seems unlikely that it will happen as a part of this spending bill, however.

Speaking on the House Democrats’ legislation to end the shutdown, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that bill “is a non-starter” because it does not include the president’s requested money to fund a border wall.

President Trump reiterated his demand for border wall funding today, saying, “We are in a shutdown because Democrats refuse to fund border security.” A meeting at the White House ended Wednesday with no deal.

It is unclear when the partial government shutdown may end at this point. Until that is resolved, a pay raise for federal employees is not looking like it has much potential to be approved, at least if it remains part of this new bill to end the shutdown. The new bill is likely to pass in the House under the new Democratic majority, but it looks much less likely to pass in the Senate.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.