House Panel Silent on January Federal Employee Raise, Effectively Backing 4.6 Percent

A raise of that size likely would be split into an across the board component and a locality component. Image: Shoaib_Mughal/

A House subcommittee has effectively endorsed President Biden’s recommendation for a January 2023 federal raise of 4.6 percent.

The Appropriations subcommittee writing the initial version of the annual general government spending bill took no position on a raise, as has been a common practice in recent years. Under federal pay law, if Congress remains silent on the raise through the year, the President’s recommendation take effect by default.

In almost all cases—there have been exceptions—the President then sets the raise at the same level initially recommended in the early year budget proposal from the White House. A raise of that size presumably would be split into an across the board component and a locality component that would vary by area; that typically is not specified until an annual late-August letter to Congress from the White House stating its intent regarding the raise if no specific figure is enacted into law.

The subcommittee’s action occurred as appropriators have begun crafting the dozen regular spending bills for the fiscal year that starts October 1. Many steps lie ahead that could result in a different outcome. It’s generally expected that a final resolution will not occur until late in the calendar year after one or more stopgap measures carry funding authority beyond that date.

The bill meanwhile would continue several longstanding provisions including reporting requirements on agency conferences; a ban on training not directly related to job duties; and a ban on starting new “Circular A-76” comparisons of in-house costs to contractor bids that could lead to contracting out of federal jobs.

However, it would drop another provision that has been in similar bills except for a few years for several decades that generally bars FEHB plans from covering abortions. The House had sought to drop that ban last year but the final version as ultimately enacted kept it.

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4.6 Percent January Federal Pay Raise Advancing in Both House, Senate