There will be no locality pay raises in January 2011 under an alternative pay plan submitted by President Obama to Congress this week.  In a letter to Congress, the president said he made this recommendation “due to national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare.”   The law (Title 5, section 5304a, U.S.C.) provides the president the authority to recommend an alternative locality pay plan each year.  Last year, the president also recommended a locality pay freeze, but Congress voted to provide a .5 percent increase.  This year’s locality pay freeze recommendation comes on the heels of the president’s proposal to freeze federal civilian pay for 2011, rather than the 1.4 percent federal pay raise he requested in the FY2011 budget in February.  Administration officials did say that agencies can pay bonuses if warranted and award within-grade increases.  The alternative plan also set up separate locality pay rates for Alaska and Hawaii.