Federal Pay Raise for 2019 Looks Increasingly Likely

Last Thursday, after weeks of back-and-forth regarding whether federal employees could expect to see a proposed 1.9% pay increase in 2019, House Republicans reportedly “struck a tentative deal on a federal pay raise for civilian federal employees,” according to the Federal News Network and the Washington Post.

To this point, the proposed pay increase has been consistently included in proposed Senate language. However, President Trump has publicly opposed both the proposed 1.9% pay increase and the disbursement of locality pay adjustments, annual pay adjustments intended to keep federal employees’ salaries regionally competitive, based on shifting costs-of-living across the country. More than 180 House members have also expressed either support for the pay increase, or opposition to the President’s proposed zeroing-out of both increases, but the House has thus far failed to move on the measure in any meaningful way, despite ongoing negotiations over various appropriations bills.

The House has had a decidedly on-again, off-again relationship with the pay increase proposal, in part due to political considerations, with some House Republicans nervous about the prospect of so openly defying the Trump administration’s stated wishes.

However, according to Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA), a Republican representative who has nonetheless been vocally supportive of the pay increase, the proposal is both necessary and likely-to-happen.

“With this strong economy we have right now, increasing the pay and being competitive is an important way of keeping a quality federal workforce,” Comstock said late last week. “I don’t know the exact date of things, but I’m confident that now it is going forward.”

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