Pay Freeze in White House FY2020 Budget

Budget Federal spending

The White House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, released on Monday, does not include a pay raise for Federal civilian employees but does propose a 3.1 percent annual pay increase for members of the military.

The budget, which reflects the White House’s priorities and has yet to go through Congress, does not include any mention of a civilian pay increase, mirroring the FY19 budget proposed by the White House. The move also mirrors the proposed pay freeze announced in August of last year.

A senior administration official told MeriTalk that President Trump is again calling for a pay freeze because the administration would prefer a more targeted approach to better reward high-performing Federal employees.

While the White House did not include a pay raise in its budget proposal last year, the final budget passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump for FY19 included a 1.9 percent increase in civilian pay.

With Democrats in control of the House, the President’s budget proposal is likely to see very substantial changes before passing through Congress.

“It’s not surprising that that President is once again using federal employees to pay for a wall that we were promised Mexico would pay for. Thankfully for federal employees and the American people, this budget is dead on arrival in the House of Representatives,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., told MeriTalk.

Last month, Connolly and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced legislation that would give Federal government civilian employees a 3.6 percent pay raise in 2020.

The FY20 budget proposal includes a 3.1 percent pay increase for military personnel, which the White House touts as the largest such increase in a decade. Last year, military personnel received a 2.6 percent pay increase.

“Military compensation must be competitive to recruit and retain the most qualified men and women to serve in an All-Volunteer Force,” the budget states.

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