H.R.790 - Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act

Photo of Congress member Representative Gerald Connelly

To provide for a pay increase in 2019 for certain civilian employees of the Federal Government, and for other purposes.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe Congress should provide federal employees the same 2.6% pay raise that was given to military personnel in a 2019 spending bill. Since the 35-day government shutdown caused 800,000 federal employees to have two paychecks delayed, causing a financial burden, the pay raise is not only a necessity, but a gesture of appreciation to the federal workforce.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that before agreeing to creating a pay raise for federal workers, Congress should allow the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to perform a fiscal cost analysis of the bill.
Introduced House Senate President Law

The Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act would create a 2.6% pay raise for 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 raise being calibrated to match that given to military personnel in a 2019 spending bill passed last year.

Currently, under President Trump's pay freeze, civilian employees will see no increase in pay, while members of the military received an increase of 2.6 percent for calendar year 2019.

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 President Trump’s proposed southern border wall.

The ensuing shutdown caused 800,000 workers to have two paychecks delayed, and Rep. Connolly (D-VA), the main sponsor 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,” Rep. Connolly (D-VA) continued.

According to the legislation press release by Rep.Connolly, "nearly 85 percent of federal employees live outside of the D.C. region, and one in three federal civilian employees are veterans. More than 900,000 federal employees make less than $60,000 per year."

House Republicans criticize the bill for not having gotten a committee hearing or a fiscal cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform subcommittee dealing with the federal workforce, said the "cost of the raise could reach $50 billion".

“We’ve had a rush to put this thing on the floor, [which] would lead many of us to believe this is nothing but a messaging bill and is not serious about trying to make real reforms to the federal workforce,” said Rep. Mark Meadows in a House Rules Committee meeting. “What we have here is a rush to try to send a message that Republicans are awful to federal workers and Democrats are not.”

Federal salaries were previously frozen in 2011, 2012 and 2013 under President Barack Obama, who was under pressure from congressional Republicans to get federal budget deficits under control.

The legislation passed the House with a 259 - 161 vote on January 30th, 2018, and the bill now sits on the Senate.

Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.), said no decisions have been announced on when or how the Senate might take up a civilian pay raise.

“On the heels of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, I believe it is appropriate for the House of Representatives to take up legislation to show federal employees that we in Congress appreciate the work that they do and the sacrifices they make,” said Rep. Connolly on the House Floor. “This bill is a down payment on treating our federal workforce with the respect it deserves.”


Sponsored by: Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 26 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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