House committee calls for military-civilian pay parity

A House committee on Thursday passed a budget resolution that includes a statement in support of pay parity for federal employees and military service members in 2009.

The House Budget Committee passed a fiscal 2009 budget blueprint that calls for an equal pay raise for federal employees and military members next year. The full House is expected to vote on the budget resolution next week.

The support for pay parity among lawmakers stands in contrast to the budget proposal President Bush sent to Congress in February, which included a 2.9 percent pay increase for civilian workers and a 3.4 percent pay boost for military personnel in 2009.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, pledged on Tuesday to lobby for a 3.9 percent pay increase for federal employees and military personnel next year.

In recent years, Congress consistently has ignored the president's recommendations and given both groups the same raise. The budget resolution's support for the concept of pay parity could indicate that both groups will receive equal pay adjustments in 2009.

"This language makes unequivocally clear that this Congress is committed to the principle of pay parity for federal employees," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "Federal civilian employees work side-by-side with members of the armed services to protect our nation and keep our government operating as one of the best in the world."

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