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Budget agreement keeps pay raise alive

Maryland's two Democratic senators noted this week that the bipartisan legislation to end the government shutdown still permits the pay increase for federal employees proposed by President Obama to go into effect.

Maryland's two Democratic senators noted this week that the bipartisan legislation to end the government shutdown still permits the pay increase for federal employees proposed by President Obama to go into effect.

Sens. Barbara Mikulski, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Ben Cardin, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a joint press statement that the final agreement to reopen the federal government allows President Obama's proposed 1 percent across-the-board pay increase to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

"I'm proud to have fought on the front lines for federal employee pay as hard as federal employees fight on the front lines each and every day for America," Mikulski said. "The promise of a modest pay raise and back pay for furloughed government employees are good first steps in recognizing the value of federal workers."

In fact, the agreement itself makes no mention of the pay raise, leaving the way clear—so far—for Obama to implement the increase. While congressional action still could head off the raise, the fact that the next major funding deadline does not come until Jan. 15 when the new continuing resolution expires may make any effort to turn back the raise more problematic for opponents.

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