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house Bill H.R. 1073

Should Federal Employees Receive a 3.6% Pay Increase in 2020?

Argument in favor

Federal employees were held hostage to politics during the partial government shutdown. They deserve to be treated better and get paid more for their service to the federal government and the American public. A 3.6% raise for 2020 would reward these loyal public servants for their service.

Joseph's Opinion
···
04/04/2019
As a 25 year Federal employee, I should recuse myself, but I believe many of us have earned a raise. Most that feel that Feds should not get anything think about those that work on the Hill and do not truly know there’s so much more to it.
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Doug's Opinion
···
04/04/2019
Given that the law governing the salary adjustments for federal employees has been frozen or reduced since it was signed in to existence, a 3.6% raise is way over due. For those that decry the logic of a federal pay increase, please keep some things in mind. 1. Federal employees do not get stock options or have the ability to negotiate an individual merit based raise. 2. We are often forbidden to even hold certain kinds of investments. 3. The federal workforce is smaller now than it was in the 1960’s, yet the population of this country receiving those services has grown by several million. 4. The days of the high school educated civil servant are long gone. Many federal employees now hold advanced degrees and in some cases multiple advanced degrees. Before you argue that federal employees are over paid, please at least consider that as a federal employee you surrender many rights private sector employees enjoy. For example, being restricted to a single political bumper sticker on the car you drive to work. Yes, the day to lives of federal employees are that insanely scrutinized.
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Ike's Opinion
···
04/04/2019
The last shutdown was ridiculous, and selfish. They deserve a raise for going through that hot mess, maybe this raise can go straight to their savings just in case 45 decides to does it again.
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Argument opposed

There’s already a schedule for determining pay raises for federal government employees. Additionally, the president has discretion to determine whether federal employees should receive pay increases. Given these considerations, there’s no reason for Congress to weigh in on federal employee pay.

B.R.'s Opinion
···
04/04/2019
While the Government shut-down was unfortunate, a salary increase should not be used as a reward system. Salary increases should be based on merit only. There are other means to reward special circumstances such as this.
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Spencer's Opinion
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04/04/2019
No way! I got 1.5% this year from a very healthy company. What can they show as justification for any raise?
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Tooluser1's Opinion
···
04/04/2019
A pay/benefit CUT would be more appropriate.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1073?

This bill — the FAIR Act — would increase the basic pay rate for federal employees by 3.6 percent in calendar year 2020 and fiscal year 2020.

This bill’s full title is the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act.

Impact

Federal employees; and the federal budget.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1073

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to provide federal employees with a 3.6 percent pay increase in 2020:

“Federal employees are patriots, not pawns. Yet for 35 days the federal workforce was held hostage by the President. We have a responsibility to make sure these public servants know that we respect the dignity of their work. The FAIR Act is a demonstration of our commitment to reversing years of pay freezes, furloughs, and Trump Shutdowns.”

When he reintroduced this bill in the 115th Congress in January 2017, Rep. Connolly argued that Republicans have unfairly made civil servants “the scapegoat for all our country’s problems” and forced them to endure “a three-year wage freeze; five years without locality pay; wage-reducing furloughs, sequester cuts, a government shutdown, a federal hiring freeze, the reinstatement of the Armageddon Rule, and… more than $182 billion in pay and benefit cuts, all in the name of deficit reduction.”

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) supports this bill. AFGE National President J. David Cox says:

"AFGE thanks Congressman Connolly and Senator Schatz for their leadership in introducing the FAIR Act. From the shutdown to union-busting executive orders to his efforts to freeze salaries, federal employees have taken a beating. It’s time to show them that America appreciates their hard work and dedication and nothing says that more clearly than a decent pay raise. The 3.6% is well-deserved and our nation can well afford it.”

This bill has 25 Democratic cosponsors. Its Senate companion bill has 13 Democratic cosponsors. It has the support of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), and National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). In the past, when Rep. Connolly has introduced this same bill with slightly different raise percentages, additional groups have also supported this type of legislation. Those groups include the Federal Managers Association (FMA), National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), Senior Executives Association (SEA), and others.

In January 2019, the House passed Rep. Connolly’s Federal Civilian Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019, which would provide federal employees a 2.6 percent pay raise for the remainder of 2019. That bill passed the House by a 259-161 vote with the support of 26 Democratic cosponsors. Sen. Schatz is a cosponsor of the Senate companion of that bill, which was introduced by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) with the support of 20 bipartisan cosponsors, including 18 Democrats, one Republican, and one Independent (including Sen. Schatz).


Of NoteIn August 2018, President Trump announced a freeze in federal civilian pay for 2019 in his FY19 budget proposal, after the House and Senate had agreed to a 1.9 percent pay increase. In making that announcement, Trump said:

“I have determined that for 2019, both across the board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero. These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well qualified Federal workforce… Under current law, locality pay increases averaging 25.70 percent, costing $25 billion, would go into effect in January 2019, in addition to a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for the base General Schedule. We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases. In light of our Nation’s fiscal situation, Federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets. Across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases, in particular, have long-term fixed costs, yet fail to address existing pay disparities or target mission critical recruitment and retention goals.”

Trump added that he’s authorized, under current law, to implement alternative plans for pay adjustments for civilian federal employees if he, as president, determines pay increases as “inappropriate” in light of national emergency or serious economic conditions. Generally, presidents may suggest pay raises that override the statutory formula that would otherwise automatically determine increases in federal employees’ pay. Congress can override the president’s plans.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / ShaunWilkinson)

AKA

FAIR Act

Official Title

To increase the rates of pay under the statutory pay systems and for prevailing rate employees by 3.6 percent, and for other purposes.

    As a 25 year Federal employee, I should recuse myself, but I believe many of us have earned a raise. Most that feel that Feds should not get anything think about those that work on the Hill and do not truly know there’s so much more to it.
    Like (90)
    Follow
    Share
    While the Government shut-down was unfortunate, a salary increase should not be used as a reward system. Salary increases should be based on merit only. There are other means to reward special circumstances such as this.
    Like (83)
    Follow
    Share
    Given that the law governing the salary adjustments for federal employees has been frozen or reduced since it was signed in to existence, a 3.6% raise is way over due. For those that decry the logic of a federal pay increase, please keep some things in mind. 1. Federal employees do not get stock options or have the ability to negotiate an individual merit based raise. 2. We are often forbidden to even hold certain kinds of investments. 3. The federal workforce is smaller now than it was in the 1960’s, yet the population of this country receiving those services has grown by several million. 4. The days of the high school educated civil servant are long gone. Many federal employees now hold advanced degrees and in some cases multiple advanced degrees. Before you argue that federal employees are over paid, please at least consider that as a federal employee you surrender many rights private sector employees enjoy. For example, being restricted to a single political bumper sticker on the car you drive to work. Yes, the day to lives of federal employees are that insanely scrutinized.
    Like (72)
    Follow
    Share
    The last shutdown was ridiculous, and selfish. They deserve a raise for going through that hot mess, maybe this raise can go straight to their savings just in case 45 decides to does it again.
    Like (36)
    Follow
    Share
    No way! I got 1.5% this year from a very healthy company. What can they show as justification for any raise?
    Like (34)
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    Share
    Cut spending by 3.6% first.
    Like (29)
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    A pay/benefit CUT would be more appropriate.
    Like (27)
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    Public service pay needs to keep up with inflation and should be the bench mark for how we expect our business's to pay there workers
    Like (26)
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    Not even a full COLA. Yes.
    Like (22)
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    These valuable workers deserve their pay. The government shutdown was a travesty
    Like (21)
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    A pay raise is due federal workers.
    Like (20)
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    Only if both houses receive a reduction in pay by the same amount. No one can say with s straight face that they are getting the people’s work done. When they come together on Immigration, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Cyber Security, Trade, etc. then we can say they are actually working.
    Like (18)
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    everyone needs a pay increase every year everyone which means its time for republicans reset the min wage clock to 15 bucks an hour no if and or buts
    Like (15)
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    Federal employees are doing the hard work of making sure our country is running day-by-day. A pay increase is definitely warranted especially given that they were put through hell after Trump and the GOP held them hostage by shutting down the government!
    Like (14)
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    Not until the rest of us do - including Social Security recipients!
    Like (13)
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    As a federal employee who is considering leaving, I know the lure of the private sector. My department has lost nearly 30% of its staff in the past few years, but the legislation and workload and public expectations have not lessened. Those who remain must work harder with outdated equipment and constant derision by mass culture and politicians. If we want basic services (student loans, social security, etc.), then pony up to retain and recruit talent, or you'll end up paying more for contractors, who aren't held to the same ethics or get the same benefits.
    Like (13)
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    Federal employees have born the cost of working for the government for far too long. It’s time to step up and pay the work force that makes America work!
    Like (12)
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    Federal employees deserve a raise. They suffered through Trump’s Tantrum #8956. Besides, it doesn’t even cover real life cost of living.
    Like (12)
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    Right after Social Security recipients get the same as their COLA. Pay should be merit based not based on time served.
    Like (12)
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    Government employees are compensated way better than their counterparts in the private sector. We need to shut down entire departments and reduce the size of our bloated government.
    Like (11)
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