President Obama earlier this year recommended a 1.6 percent raise for next January and there is strong precedent for him endorsing that figure again when announcing the “alternative” figure, which typically comes in a late-August message to Congress: he has stuck with his original recommendation in each of the last three years in the same situation. One wrinkle this time is that the House has backed a 2.1 percent raise for military personnel; the military raise in many past years has served as a marker for later action on the federal employee raise in the name of pay parity. However, the Senate version of the defense budget endorses the White House’s recommendation for 1.6 percent for military personnel, and the White House objected to increasing the number in its comments on the House bill. A raise of 1.6 percent likely would be paid in two components, part across the board with the funds for the remainder divided up and paid in varying amounts by locality. That would yield raises ranging from slightly below to slightly above 1.6 percent, assuming that is the figure. For the 2016 raise, for example, a 1.3 percent increase was paid as 1 percentage point across the board and locality pay varying from 0.17 to 0.46 percent. Whether to divide a raise, and how, also would be up to the White House in this scenario.