Fedweek

House civil service leaders have proposed a 3.2 percent raise for federal employees in January 2022, what would be the largest raise in more than a decade, a period in which increases have been in the 1-2 percent range with the exception of 3.1 percent in 2020.

The proposal comes ahead of the first budget proposal from the Biden administration, which has given no indication of what it will propose. A federal raise for the following year typically isn’t finalized until late each year.

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Although not specified, a 3.2 percent raise likely would be divided into an amount paid across the board and a variable amount by locality, so that the average is 3.2 percent.

Also offered early in the new Congress were:

HR-82, to repeal the windfall elimination provision and government pension offset, two reductions in Social Security benefits for those drawing an annuity from a retirement program such as the federal CSRS that does not include Social Security. The former can reduce a Social Security benefit through a spouse’s employment by up to about $500 a month while the latter can as much as eliminate any Social Security benefit a CSRS retiree earned from other employment.

HR-304, to provide those who retired under the FERS system with the same COLA adjustment as those who retired under CSRS. Currently, both get the same adjustment if the amount is below 2 percent; if it is 2-3 percent, the FERS figure is capped at 2 percent; and if the figure is above 3 percent, FERS retirees receive 1 percentage point less.

HR-353, to disqualify anyone who participated in the January 6 riot at the Capitol Building or who belongs to organization or movement that “spreads conspiracy theories and false information about the U.S. government” from obtaining or maintaining a federal security clearance, which is necessary to hold many federal jobs. A question to that effect would be added to clearance forms and related questions would become part of the interview process, under the planned bill.

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Also planned for introduction in the House would require federal police officers who have the authority to make arrests or conduct searches to wear personal body cameras and to require dashboard cameras in their vehicles. The measure would set standards for when cameras must be turned on, when they could be turned off, retention of video, its use as evidence, and more.

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