Federal Employees News Digest

House Dems include pay raise for feds in funding bill

House Democrats plan to open the new session of Congress by passing legislation to fund the federal government and end the partial shutdown.

The package includes full-year appropriations bill for most of the agencies shuttered during the lapse in funding that took effect Dec. 22. But under the Democrats' plan, the Department of Homeland Security will be funded under a separate continuing resolution through Feb. 8, to give time for more negotiation over border security funding.

The House package includes a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal employees, overriding a recent decision by President Donald Trump. The Senate has already agreed to the pay raise in its appropriations bills.

"It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported," said Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a joint statement.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he doesn't plan to act on any legislation without an advance commitment of support from the White House.

Most feds were last paid on Dec. 28 for work completed before the shutdown. About 380,000 feds are furloughed with 420,000 working without pay. The latter group is guaranteed back pay once the shutdown ends. However, an act of Congress is required to pay those feds on furlough. The Senate already passed such a measure before breaking for the holidays and it is likely that House Democrats will follow suit.

Feds are at risk of missing a full paycheck if the shutdown drags on much longer, however. The next pay date for most feds is Jan. 11.

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Contributors

Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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