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House appropriators have remained silent regarding a January 2017 federal pay raise in the first draft of the annual spending bill that typically determines a raise amount, effectively allowing one to be paid by default once again. Under federal pay law, if Congress does not legislate a figure by the end of the year, the White House’s “alternative” raise recommendation—alternative to the much larger raise that the underlying law would provide—takes effect by default. Congress has followed that strategy for three years in a row, and there has been no indication of interest there in breaking that pattern and actively taking up the issue. Even proponents of a higher figure—some members have proposed the 5.3 percent advocated by some employee unions—have not pushed for a vote on setting a raise, partly out of concern that such a move could backfire and result in denial of any raise. The bill does specify that political appointees and political senior executives would not receive any raise that is paid; under a separate spending bill, pay also would be frozen for members of Congress.