Federal Employees Might see Pay Raise in 2013, but Current Pay Freeze Extended until Congress Passes Budget

Federal employees should remain hopeful for a 0.5 percent pay raise next year, according to a letter written last week to lawmakers by President Barack Obama.

In the memo, Obama wrote that he would use authority to give federal employees the pay raise in 2013, but current pay rates would remain in effect until Congress passes a budget.

“Congress should maintain current pay rates during the period of the continuing resolution,” Obama wrote. “Assuming such a continuing resolution is enacted, the adjustments described above would take effect after the continuing resolution expires.”

Many anticipate lawmakers to pass a six-month continuing resolution after they return from recess in September. The resolution would fund the federal government through March, meaning federal workers would not see the increase reflected in their paychecks until April.

"Civilian federal employees have already made significant sacrifices as a result of a two-year pay freeze,” Obama wrote. “As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course. This is an effort that continues to require tough choices and each of us to do our fair share.”

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