Senators Ask for Timeframe on Pay Raise

A group of Senators from states in which many federal employees reside have asked OMB for a timeframe on when the pay raise can be expected.

A group of Senators have asked the Office of Management and Budget for a timeline of when federal employees can expect to see the new pay tables reflecting the recently enacted pay raise.

The letter was sent by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) all of whom represent states with heavy concentrations of federal employees.

There has been great anticipation among federal employees wanting to know when the recently enacted retroactive pay raise is going to hit their paychecks.

The process of developing the new pay tables is not a fast one. The pay tables have to be reviewed and approved by OMB after they are developed before an executive order is issued. Then agency payroll offices have to incorporate them into their systems. The last time a similar situation arose, it was 40 days between when the law was passed and the executive order with the new pay tables was issued. For additional details, see Pay Raise Likely to Hit in Early Spring.

A copy of the Senators’ letter is included below.

Dear Mr. Vought:

We are writing to inquire about the status and timeline for implementing the 1.9% pay raise for federal workers that Congress enacted in legislation to fund the government for fiscal year 2019.

As you know, Congress passed a 1.9% pay raise for federal workers, retroactive to January 1, in the Consolidated Appropriations Act that President Trump signed into law on February 15. However, federal worker paychecks still reflect the pay freeze that President Trump instituted for 2019 prior to passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

More than 800,000 dedicated federal workers went without pay during the recent government shutdown. We ask that you provide a timeframe for when these civil servants will see this modest cost-of-living adjustment in their paycheck.

Thank you for your time and attention on this important matter.


Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)

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.