While it has seemed virtually certain for months that federal employees will receive a 1.6 percent raise in January—under current planning, the exact amount would be a bit higher or lower by locality—a small chance for boosting the increase remains. In setting a 1.6 percent figure to take effect by default if no number is legislated, President Obama similarly set a default 1.6 percent raise for the military. However, the House has backed a 2.1 percent raise for the military, and leaders there on defense issues say they will continue to advocate for that higher number despite the order, and despite the Senate’s willingness to go along with 1.6 percent. For many years, similar action on the military raise resulted in boosting the federal employee raise as well in the name of “pay parity.” However, that sequence of events hasn’t played out in more recent years, and there have been years when the military raise has exceeded the federal raise.
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