Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., is one of the sponsors of the bill.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., is one of the sponsors of the bill. Patrick Semansky/AP

Lawmakers Propose 3.2% Raise for Feds in 2022

Democrats in both chambers of Congress have reintroduced legislation to boost basic pay by 2.2% across the board next year, along with an average 1% increase in locality pay.

Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of Congress on Thursday are pushing for legislation that would grant federal workers an average 3.2% pay raise in 2022.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act on Thursday. The bill would give federal employees a 2.2% across-the-board pay increase next year, coupled with an average 1% increase in locality pay. The bill is similar to previous efforts by the two lawmakers to secure a sizeable pay raise for federal workers. Last year, the previous iteration of the legislation would have granted a 3.5% across-the-board raise to feds.

This year, federal employees received a 1% across-the-board pay increase, with no adjustment to locality pay, in line with former President Trump’s initial pay raise proposal as outlined in his fiscal 2021 budget request.

In a statement, Connolly and Schatz said the measure is long overdue, given how federal workers have often borne the brunt of political attacks while working on the frontlines to combat various crises in recent years.

“Federal employees have been scapegoated for four long years,” Connolly said. “They’ve worked tirelessly throughout a global pandemic, risking their lives in service to the American people. And how has the Trump administration thanked them? With cruel personal attacks, unsafe work environments, pay freezes, government shutdowns, sequestration cuts, furloughs, and a mindless across-the-board hiring freeze . . . They deserve better.”

“Federal workers play an important role in our everyday lives,” Schatz said. “They’re caring for our veterans, providing critical research to help fight the pandemic, and cutting our social security checks. After suffering through furloughs and pay freezes over the past few years, these hardworking public servants deserve a raise—and our bill will make sure they finally get one.”

In recent years, efforts to boost feds’ salaries have often been stymied by the Trump administration and Republicans in the Senate. With Democrats now in control of the House, Senate and the White House, the bill sponsors could see less resistance to the proposal.