Spending bill includes 3.1% pay raise for feds

A measure backed in a House-passed funding bill made its way into the final spending package.

By Orhan Cam Royalty-free stock photo ID: 546416560 United States Capitol Building in Washington DC USA

The spending bill emerging from negotiations will include an average 3.1% pay raise for federal employees, according to House Democratic aide.

That breaks down to a 2.6% base increase plus an average 0.5% uptick in locality pay.

The same increase was contained in an appropriations bill that passed the House in June. The Senate never got its Financial Services and General Government appropriation bill to the floor.

The current continuing resolution keeping the government open is set to expire at midnight on Dec. 20. Congress must move the fiscal year 2020 appropriation this week to be signed by the president in time to avoid a shutdown or pass another continuing resolution.

The full text of the bill is expected to be posted with the House Rules Committee, in advance of a hearing to develop a rule for the House vote. That vote could occur Thursday, according to a preliminary floor schedule, leaving a short time for the Senate to consider the bill.

"Signing the raise into law this week -- along with all of the appropriation bills -- would bring welcome relief to federal employees and their families, who could end the year without the fear of another government shutdown," said Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

House and Senate appropriators announced a deal on funding levels on Dec. 12. Lawmakers reportedly negotiated their way to an agreement over funding for President Donald Trump's controversial border wall project. Disagreement over funding for that project, which is opposed by Democrats in the House and the Senate, led to a 35-day shutdown over the winter that started around this time last year. The administration is getting $1.34 billion for the project, but it's not clear yet what that funding permits in terms of new building and replacement of old fencing and barriers.

A full-year appropriations bill would be in effect until Sept. 30, 2020, when lawmakers would have to work out a continuing resolution or a new funding bill in the heat of the general election.

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