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House set to pass 2.6 percent pay raise for civilian federal employees

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Washington, January 30, 2019 | comments
Washington Post

The House on Wednesday is set to pass a pay raise for civilian federal employees in what Democrats are casting as both a necessity and a gesture of appreciation for a workforce reeling after a 35-day partial government shutdown.

The 2.6-percent raise is calibrated to match that given to military personnel in a 2019 spending bill passed last year. President Trump subjected the rest of the federal workforce to a pay freeze in a Dec. 28 executive order, though Congress could override that at any time.

Before the shutdown began, Senate appropriators had agreed on a 1.9 percent raise for civilian employees in 2019 but that provision — along with the rest of a federal spending agreement — got caught up in the standoff over Trump’s proposed southern border wall.

The ensuing shutdown caused 800,000 workers to have two paychecks delayed, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), the author of the bill, said the pay raise is “not only deserved, but it’s also symbolically important.”

“After the shutdown, it’s imperative that this body make a statement to the civilian workforce that it is respected, that their work does have dignity and we recognize that,” he said Tuesday.

The bill is co-sponsored by every Washington-area House member, including Reps. Don Beyer and Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, as well as Reps. Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone of Maryland, and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. All are Democrats.

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