No Performance Fund in Spending Bill, No Raise

The government spending bill for a January 2019 raise for federal employees that is advancing in the House is silent, which supports the recommendation by President Trump to not push for an increase.
Drafted by an Appropriations subcommittee, this measure is one of many steps in this process, which doesn’t generally come to a close until the end of the year. While some employee organizations, as well as some Democrats, suggest 3 percent, Congress could endorse some raise, but the silent strategy that has previously been used by Congress would allow Trump’s recommendation on the potential non-increase to become active automatically.
In the past, this has produced raises (on an average of 1-2%). However, the mechanics of pay law that had applied to the grant of those raises would also use to a freeze. Congress has until August 4 to take action regarding a raise, and it doesn’t seem like they plan to. If Congress takes no action then what comes next is a notice sent by Trump stating his intent to set an “alternative” raise figure, provided that the end of the year enacts no number. This is the alternative to the raise that would otherwise be put into effect by law. Presidents have consistently reiterated their initial raise recommendations in those messages.
The only reference by this measure regarding a raise is the repetition of language from the past, basically stating that if a GS raise occurs then wage grade employees in the area would receive equal amounts locally.
The White House recommended a 2.6% raise for military personnel, and it seems they are in line to receive that since the versions (from both the House and Senate) of the defense budget that is currently advancing in Congress would provide that 2.6% increase.
Meanwhile, there is no mention within the appropriations bill of a $1 billion performance and incentive fund recommended by the White House which serves as a tradeoff for a freeze of salary rate. The administration has provided no details on how correctly the fund would be used. However, these details would be required for such a fund to be written into law by Congress.


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