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House Appropriators Propose 3.1% Civilian Pay Raise for 2020, Reject OPM-GSA Merger

Initial version of the general government spending bill ignores President Trump’s request for a pay freeze.

The House Appropriations Committee on Sunday evening unveiled a draft spending bill that would grant civilian federal employees a 3.1 percent pay raise in 2020, ignoring President Trump’s request for a pay freeze.  

The pay raise is part of the broader fiscal 2020 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, which contains a total of $24.6 billion in discretionary spending for the Treasury Department, Judiciary and several other independent agencies including the Office of Personnel Management and Small Business Administration. That represents a $1.4 billion increase over the enacted level of funding for this year and $355.5 million over Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget request, the committee said in a summary of the bill.

The committee’s initial version of the bill also rejects the Trump administration’s proposal to merge the Office of Personnel Management and General Services Administration. The merger proposal, which would move most of OPM’s functions to GSA but would transfer policymaking authority to a non-confirmed political appointee within the Office of Management and Budget, has met with a lukewarm reception on Capitol Hill even from some Republicans.  

The House Appropriations Committee draft bill is the first step in the process of negotiating spending levels. The panel’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee will mark up the bill Monday night. The Senate has not yet introduced its version of the bill. Once the measure makes its way through both the House and Senate, differences must be reconciled before it is sent to President Trump for his signature.