Congress Passes Appropriations Legislation to Avoid Government Shutdown, Grant Pay Raise

Congressional leaders announced an agreement with the White House last week to fund all federal agencies through September 2020. The funding legislation, split into two minibus bills, passed the House on Tuesday and the Senate on Thursday. The bills must be signed by the president before the end of the day on Friday to avert a government shutdown.

According to reports from House Democratic aides, the funding measure includes language to grant federal employees the largest pay raise in over a decade. The bill provides feds with a 2.6 percent across the board raise and a 0.5 percent increase in locality pay.

The agreement also marks the return of pay parity, as members of the military are also slated to receive an average 3.1% pay raise. Last year, although service members received a 2.6% pay increase, civilian feds only saw a 1.9% raise, as part of a deal to end the 35-day partial government shutdown.

“Federal employees have many allies in Congress and we commend all of them for their persistence in getting House and Senate negotiators to include the average 3.1 percent raise in their final compromise spending agreement,” National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon said in a statement.

The legislation also includes $7.6 billion to support the 2020 Census, $1.4 billion more than the president’s original proposal.

"Our hard work over the past few months has ensured a bipartisan path forward to complete our FY2020 appropriations process. I want to thank my colleagues and urge both sides of the aisle to support these packages for the good of our nation. These bills include a long list of priorities that will benefit people across the country. This is what the American people deserve — for us to fulfill our primary responsibility — funding the government,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said.

The bills are expected to obtain the president’s signature.

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