A pay raise for federal workers passed a key hurdle — Congress.

A House committee in June passed a government funding appropriations bill that did not nix a proposed 1.3 percent across-the-board raise that was floated by the Obama Administration earlier this year.

The president’s 2016 budget blueprint, which the Republican-controlled House and Senate is not required to follow, set aside appropriations for the raise — even though the president can still bump federal worker pay through executive order without Congressional approval.

President Obama did just that in 2014 and 2015, two executive orders that resulted in one percent across-the-board raises for the federal workforce.

However because the House appropriations committee did not address a 2016 pay raise in the government funding appropriations bill, that likely means they won’t be putting up much of a fight over the president’s wish to raise federal pay, according to FedSmith.

The raise would be effective in January 2016.

Congress does have the power to approve a different figure, so hypothetically federal workers could receive a raise above, or below, the president’s proposal. At the end of the day, the president wields the executive authority to do whatever he wants when it comes to federal worker pay. But he may not push the issue to extremes that will make other parts of the administration’s agenda less successful in Congress.

Whatever happens, any sort of pay raise will be better than the years of pay freezes federal workers suffered through during consecutive years leading up to 2014. At the very least, a pay freeze appears to be not on the table next year.


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