The prospects for eventual congressional approval of the 4.6 percent pay raise for Federal civilian employees proposed by President Biden for 2023 were brightened by the June 24 vote by the House Appropriations Committee to approve the FY2023 financial services and general government spending bill.


The panel’s approval of that bill, which does not mention the pay raise proposed by the White House, marks a good indication that the committee does not oppose the raise of its inaction on the issue. The committee followed a similar course on the administration’s pay increase proposal last year.


The 4.6 percent pay raise would be the biggest since 2002 when President George W. Bush’s administration granted the same increase. President Biden granted a 2.7 percent pay increase for the Federal civilian workforce in 2022.


The Biden administration said in March that the proposed pay raise aims to help retain the government’s valued workforce and close the growing gap between Federal pay and private-sector compensation. According to the White House, between 2009 and 2020, U.S. average worker pay rose by 38 percent while Federal civilian pay rose by only 15 percent.


“The proposed Federal pay increase is needed to prevent Federal pay from falling even further behind,” the White House wrote in the Analytical Perspectives section of the budget request. “This pay raise helps ensure fair compensation for employees, by keeping pace with economic indicators – and, also recognizes the Federal workforce’s tireless and selfless dedication to mission and service to the American people.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.