House approves 4.6 percent pay raise

The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to give civilian federal employees a 4.6 percent average pay raise next year.

On a 334-94 vote, the House passed the $32.7 billion fiscal 2002 Treasury-Postal appropriations bill, (H.R. 2590), which contained language approving the raise.

Earlier this week, the Bush administration issued a statement opposing the 4.6 percent increase, arguing that it "would divert critical resources from programs across the government." The administration proposed a 3.6 percent raise for civilian federal employees in its fiscal 2002 budget.

Bush has proposed an across-the-board 4.6 percent military raise along with additional targeted raises that would boost increases to between 5 percent and 10 percent for service members, depending on their rank.

"I remain hopeful that the administration will drop its insistence on a lower raise for federal workers," Rep. James Moran, D-Va., said in a statement.

Military and civilian raises have been equal in 17 of the last 20 years.

Earlier in the day, Rep. Albert Wynn, D-Md., offered an amendment to block the Treasury Department and Postal Service from contracting-out any federal jobs without public-private competition. Wynn is the sponsor of the Truthfulness, Responsibility and Accountability in Contracting (TRAC) Act, a bill that would mandate public-private competition for virtually all government contracts. Wynn's amendment was voted down in a voice vote after foes of the TRAC Act, including Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, Tom Davis, R-Va., and Jim Moran, D-Va., rushed to the House floor to oppose it.

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