Lawmakers Ask Trump to Give Civilian Feds the Same 2018 Pay Raise as the Military

A bipartisan letter calls for pay parity to match the 2.4 percent increase that members of the military could receive.

A bipartisan group of 12 House lawmakers is calling on President Trump to grant civilian federal employees a bigger pay raise in 2018, equal to what the military receives.

Trump must finalize his August plan to increase the pay of federal civilian employees by the end of the year. Feds are currently slated to receive a 1.9 percent across-the-board raise next year, and Trump’s statement at the time described higher increases as “not warranted.”

Although Trump proposed a 2.1 percent raise for military personnel, Congress boosted that figure to 2.4 percent when it passed the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act last month.

On Dec. 1, a group of lawmakers signed a letter to Trump urging him to continue the tradition of increasing pay for civilian and military personnel equally when he confirms his pay raise plan later this month. The lawmakers joined federal employee groups in advocating for pay parity.

“The federal workforce is a dedicated group of individuals who are critical to the day-to-day functions of the federal government,” the House members wrote. “We should not take them for granted. Without them, Social Security benefits would not be delivered, tainted foods would remain on grocery store shelves, and our national parks would not be open for visitors to enjoy.”

The letter’s signatories are: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.; Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Tom Cole, R-Okla.; David McKinley, R-W.Va.; Peter King, R-N.Y.; Don Beyer, D-Va.; Barbara Comstock, R-Va.; Anthony Brown, D-Md.; Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.; and Jamie Raskin, D-Md.

In a statement Tuesday, National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon applauded the lawmakers’ effort to secure a better raise for federal workers.

“This letter is well-deserved recognition that the civilian workforce, often working alongside their counterparts in the military to deliver vital government services to Americans, deserves a decent raise next year,” Reardon said.

Spending for the remainder of fiscal 2018 is still up in the air. But the Senate’s latest version of fiscal 2018 appropriations legislation does not stipulate a pay raise for federal workers. Instead, it includes boiler-plate language that would allow the White House’s pay raise plan to move forward unimpeded.