Lawmakers Seeking 3.6% Raise for Federal Workers in 2020

Legislation has been introduced to give federal employees a 3.6% pay raise in 2020.

Legislation was introduced today to give federal employees a 3.6% pay raise in 2020.

The bill is known as the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act and was introduced in both the House (H.R. 1073) and Senate (S. 426) by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), respectively.

The text of the House bill does not offer any indication as to how this figure was determined. It simply states, “…the rates of basic pay…shall be increased by 3.6 percent.”

As has become their annual tradition, the two lawmakers have teamed up again this year to advocate for a higher pay raise for federal workers beyond what often ends up materializing from Congress and/or the White House. Last year, for example, the duo’s legislative proposal sought a 3% pay raise in 2019. The year before, they wanted 3.2%, and in 2017, they wanted 5.3%.

None of those proposals came to fruition, however. In 2017, federal employees got a 2.1% raise, in 2018, it was 1.9%, and pay has been frozen for 2019 (so far at least).

Connolly and Schatz have also been advocating for a pay raise for 2019 having been behind bills that would give federal employees a 2.6% pay raise. As of the time of this writing, the House version had passed the House but the Senate version has not advanced (see No Retroactive Pay Raise Currently in the Works for details).

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.