Companion legislation to the House pay raise bill to give federal employees a pay raise in 2019 has been introduced in the Senate this week.
As readers may recall, a bill was introduced in the House last week that would give federal employees a 2.6% pay raise retroactive to the start of 2019. This amount would match the raise being given to the military this year.
The Senate has now followed suit and introduced a companion bill (S. 262) introduced by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) to provide federal employees with a 2.6% pay raise. However, the pay raise would not be retroactive to the start of the year according to the language in the bill.
“Federal workers have shown during this historic shutdown how invaluable they are to the daily functioning of our nation. They should be compensated accordingly,” said Senator Cardin. “Congressional approval of a small increase in pay, comparable to what has been granted to our service members, would be a helpful measure in restoring faith in a system that left them in financial limbo for a record 35 days.”
The House version of the bill passed the House on Wednesday, January 30. It was modified to so that the pay raise would not be retroactive to the start of 2019.
The White House had previously recommended a pay freeze for the federal workforce in 2019. Because Congress took no action to override that recommendation, something not helped by the shutdown that ensued, the pay freeze ultimately stood. Congress can still override the pay freeze, however, and these recent bills are an attempt to do so.