UPDATE (02/15/2019 10:17 am ET): The House on Thursday voted 300-128 to pass the spending bill, and the Senate passed it with a 83-16 vote. The bill has been sent to President Trump who has indicated he will sign it. The bill will reverse the pay freeze for civilian federal employees providing a 1.4 percent across-the-board raise plus as a 0.5 percent locality pay adjustment. The 1.9 percent pay raise is retroactive to January 1 (or the first applicable pay period of 2019).
A spending package between Senate and House appropriators will provide a 1.9 percent across-the-board raise to federal employees this year, according to a report by GovExec.com yesterday.
“We passed a bill, as you know, at 2.6, which is parity with the military. I think it should be 2.6, and in the future I will pursue that and other members will pursue it. But in this bill, it’s going to be at 1.9 percent,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) told the Washington Post on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the House passed legislation that would provide federal employees a 2.6% pay increase for the remainder of 2019. While a companion bill was introduced in the Senate, it has not yet advanced in that chamber.
The White House last year proposed a 2019 pay freeze for federal employees. While the Senate had approved a 2019 federal pay raise of 1.9 percent in August as part of a spending bill package, the House was silent on the pay raise issue. Because Congress took no action to override the president’s proposal, the pay freeze took effect for 2019. However, if the currently proposed spending measure passes, it would override the pay freeze.
“While we review the details of this bipartisan package, my hope is that we can agree on a deal to keep government running and allow our federal employees to do their jobs — with a 1.9 percent cost of living increase,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said in an emailed statement to the Washington Post.