Legislation that would give federal employees a pay increase in 2019 has passed the House.
One change that was made in the bill from when it was originally introduced is that it would not be retroactive to the beginning of 2019. The new language in the bill states, “The adjustments in pay made under this Act shall apply beginning on the date of enactment of this Act.”
The Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act (H.R. 790) would give federal employees a 2.6% pay raise to match the raise that was given to the military for 2019. It would also give a pay raise to Senior Executive Service, Senior-Level and Scientific and Professional employees.
As part of the amendments added when the bill passed the House, it now includes language giving a 2.6% raise to NASA and IRS employees if they were not already covered by the pay raise provisions.
Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
Critics of the House bill wanted to add a provision that denied a pay raise to any Federal employee who has been disciplined for sexual misconduct, but the bill passed without the amendment.
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. The House bill is an attempt to override the pay freeze and grant a pay raise for the year.
This article has been updated to reflect that the new version of the bill that passed the House does not include a retroactive pay raise for 2019.