Pay raise, paid leave inch closer to reality
- By Adam Mazmanian
- Dec 17, 2019
House and Senate votes today pushed sought-after federal employee benefits one step closer to becoming law.
The House of Representatives passed two appropriations packages, called "minibuses" in legislative jargon, to keep the government open through the close of fiscal year 2020.
One, a package covering eight appropriations bills including most domestic spending, Veterans Affairs and foreign aid, passed on a vote of 297 to 120.
The second, which includes defense spending, homeland security and law enforcement as well as financial services and general government spending, passed on a 280 to 138 vote. That minibus contained a 2.6% increase in base federal pay as well as an average 0.5% increase in locality pay.
The appropriations minibuses go to the Senate, where they are expected to pass. Lawmakers are working against a deadline of midnight on Dec. 20, at which point the current continuing resolution funding the government expires.
Also today, the Senate adopted the conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 86 to 8. The compromise legislation includes 12 weeks of paid parental leave for civilian federal employees with at least one year on the job upon the birth, adoption or fostering of a new child. The NDAA was already passed in the House and heads to President Donald Trump for his signature.
Trump has signaled his intent to sign the NDAA via a tweet from his press office. There has been no such confirmation on the funding bills, but administration officials were at meetings where final compromises were hashed out and announced. The funding bills include money for the controversial border wall project that has divided lawmakers in the past, leading to a 35-day shutdown over the holidays last year.
Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.
Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.
Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.