So far, no House or Senate committee appropriations bills have included language or funding to support the president’s proposed .5 percent federal civilian pay raise for FY2013.
In recent years, the FY2013 Financial Services Appropriations bill has provided language addressing the president’s federal civilian pay raise proposal. Funding for a pay raise is then included in each of the twelve annual appropriations bills. The FY2011 Financial Services Appropriations bill set a two-year civilian pay freeze through FY2012, a move supported by the president.
This year, the president’s FY2013 budget calls for a .5 percent civilian pay raise. However, both the House and Senate Financial Services subcommittees have omitted any language on the president’s proposal. If the final bill excludes pay raise language, it may be considered a de facto extension of the pay freeze for another year, a move that is popular in the House. Earlier this year the House voted to extend the civilian pay raise for another year and the FY2013 House Budget Resolution calls for a continued civilian pay freeze.
If Congress did not include any legislative language on the pay raise, the president would still have the authority to increase civilian pay. However, if Congress does not include funding in each appropriations bill for the pay raise, agencies would have to reallocate already scarce funds to pay for it.
To date, the House Appropriations Committee has approved seven appropriations bills (five of which have been passed by the full House). In each bill, the House has cut funding for the amount of the pay raise, complying with the FY2013 House Budget Resolution. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee appears to have rejected this approach on bills it has approved to date.
In its Statements of Administration Policy (SAPs) on appropriations bills being considered in the House, the administration has strongly objected to House reductions to funding for the pay raise. However, these objections did not expressly carry a veto threat.