House clears the way for Biden’s 4.6% pay raise plan

It is unclear how the 4.6% would be split between an across-the-board increase in basic pay and an average increase in locality pay.

It is unclear how the 4.6% would be split between an across-the-board increase in basic pay and an average increase in locality pay. jayk7/Getty Images

Lawmakers effectively endorsed the president’s pay raise proposal for federal workers Wednesday, although the Senate has yet to weigh in on the issue.

The House on Wednesday voted 220-207 to pass the first minibus fiscal 2023 spending package, effectively endorsing President Biden’s plan to increase federal employees’ pay by an average of 4.6% next year.

The minibus contains six of the 12 annual appropriations bills, including transportation, housing and urban development; agriculture and rural development; energy and water development; military construction and veterans affairs; and financial services and general government, the last of which serves as the vehicle for provisions impacting federal employee compensation.

When Biden first unveiled his fiscal 2023 budget request in March, he proposed providing an average 4.6% pay increase for federal civilian employees and members of the military. Although it is unclear how that figure would be split between an across-the-board increase in basic pay and an average increase in locality pay, presidents typically have set aside 0.5% of the overall raise for average locality pay increases.

A 4.6% average pay raise would mark the largest increase for civilian federal workers in more than two decades—President George W. Bush granted feds a 4.6% average raise in 2002—but some lawmakers and federal employee groups have advocated for an even larger raise of 5.1%, pointing to the paltry 1.0% across-the-board raise the workforce received in 2021 and lack of an increase to locality pay, as well as rising inflation. The 5.1% raise would have been split between a 4.1% across-the-board increase in basic pay and an average 1.0% raise in locality pay.

But throughout the House’s spending talks, appropriators failed to include any language on federal employee compensation. Since Congress must act affirmatively to override a president’s pay plan, that effectively serves as an endorsement of Biden’s proposal.

Prospects for a larger pay raise being included in the Senate’s version of the appropriations bill are dim. The Senate Appropriations Committee has yet to unveil any of its spending bills, but with Democrats only in control via the vice president’s role as tiebreaker of an evenly split chamber, it would be more likely to see the pay raise figure decrease in an effort to secure the 10 GOP votes needed to send the bill to the president for enactment.

The removal of a longstanding policy rider to the House’s version of the spending package could be a boon to federal employees’ non-salary benefits, although it is unlikely to make it into law. Appropriators did not include the Hyde Amendment, a decades-old stipulation that federal dollars cannot go toward abortions. Democrats have been pushing to repeal the provision for several years, although the effort took on renewed urgency with the Supreme Court’s controversial decision last month to overturn Roe v. Wade.

For federal employees, the Hyde Amendment carved abortion-related services out of the long list of procedures covered by insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, forcing them to pay out of pocket to obtain those procedures.

Debate over the future of the amendment could be a sticking point in negotiations between House and Senate as the end of the fiscal year approaches in September.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.