House Passes Bill Authorizing a Pay Raise in 2020

The House has passed a spending bill authorizing a pay raise for federal employees in 2020.

The possibility of federal employees getting a pay raise in 2020 has taken another step forward today thanks to the House passing a spending bill that contains a 3.1% pay increase for the federal workforce.

The House passed the bill (H.R. 3351) which contains the pay raise that would override the pay freeze proposed by the White House for next year. It contains a 2.6% base pay increase along with an additional 0.5% increase in locality pay.

In past years, the recommendation by the president has often been the final pay raise (or freeze) given to federal workers since Congress never took any action to override the proposal. 2019 became an exception to this when Congress override President Trump’s proposed pay freeze with a 1.9% pay raise that was applied retroactively.

The bill also contains language to block initiatives by the Trump administration to reorganize the Office of Personnel Management and move two agencies under the Department of Agriculture out of the Washington, DC area.

The bill still will have to get through the Senate as written and be signed into law by President Trump in order for the pay raise to take effect. It is doubtful at this point that the bill, at least in its current form, would survive the remainder of the legislative process.

The White House released a policy statement recently which recommends vetoing the bill as currently written. The key part from the document on the 2020 pay raise reads:

The Administration continues to support the alignment of pay with strategic human capital objectives. A 3.1 percent pay increase presents long-term fixed costs, yet fails to address the most strategic human capital issues facing the Federal workforce.

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.