From the FEDweek Weekly Issue: Wednesday, March 2, 2016
One area where the budget plans have been silent by design recently is that they have been silent regarding a federal raise for the following year. For three straight years, that has meant that the White House's proposed amount has taken effect by default, without Congress voting on the issue. If that strategy is again followed, the result would be a 1.6 percent increase, probably most of it paid across the board and the rest divided up as locality pay varying by metro areas with their own rates; that would be specified by a later White House order. Some members of Congress, backed by federal employee organizations, are pushing for enactment of a larger raise. A House bill (HR-4585) would provide a 3.9 percent across-the-board raise plus a 1.4 percent average locality increase. Congress last year did not even take up a bill for a 3.8 percent 2016 raise, and given the sensitivities of the issue it is questionable whether sponsors would risk pushing for a vote on any raise out of concern that the result could be a freeze, as happened for 2011-2013.