Fedweek

Recent actions in Congress may have lessened prospects for boosting the January 2022 federal employee raise from the 2.7 percent recommended by the White House.

The House Appropriations Committee earlier effectively accepted that figure when approving the general government spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year by taking no position; if Congress does not legislate a figure, the White House’s recommendation takes effect by default. That bill continues to await a vote in the full House that could offer the best opportunity for proponents of a 3.2 percent raise to boost the raise to that figure.

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Since then, in a bill on defense appropriations, that same committee endorsed a 2.7 percent raise for uniformed military personnel, also as recommended by the White House. That could undercut the main argument that has been used to boost federal employee pay raises in the past, to achieve “pay parity” when the military are in line for a higher amount.

Further, the committee report on the defense bill specifies that a 2.7 raise would be paid to both “uniformed and civilian personnel” of DoD, in contrast to the silence in the general government bill regarding the federal raise.

Meanwhile, a Senate subcommittee also has specified a 2.7 percent increase for both military and civilian federal personnel as that chamber begins writing a separate DoD budget measure, the annual authorization bill.

The House plans to begin work on its version of the authorization bill next week; the Senate has not yet produced a counterpart to either the general government or defense appropriations bills.

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2021 Federal Employees Handbook