3.3 Percent Raise Idea Faces Uphill Climb

A group of House Democrats has proposed boosting the federal employee raise for January 2015 to 3.3 percent, a figure that federal employee unions have been urging as a replacement for the 1 percent the White House has proposed. While a raise of that size would be in line with the annual increases that were common before the 2011-2013 freeze on salary rates—somewhat below the average, actually—gaining enactment could be a difficult task. Congress would have to specifically approve the higher raise, probably by adding the figure to a spending bill, most likely the general government appropriations measure. That would draw attention to the raise, which often has been a political lightning rod, especially in election years.

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