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Proposed pay raise for feds could mean more money for Congress

If federal employees receive a 0.5 percent pay increase in fiscal year 2013, as suggested by the White House – a number some called an insult after a two-year pay freeze – chances are members of Congress could get a bigger paycheck as well.

Although Congress has voted against giving itself a pay raise for the past couple of years, lawmakers could decide they too are eligible for a modest raise under the current formula, which links congressional and federal employees' pay, according to GovExec.

Unsurprisingly, this news didn’t sit well with readers, many of whom expressed their outrage over the story.

“This is a joke, right?” one GovExec reader asked. “Their salaries should be cut by at least 25 percent. Perhaps we should all aspire to be career politicians -- they'll all in the 1 percent, it seems.”

Obama’s Jan. 6 proposal for a 0.5 percent raise would be the first time federal employees have seen an increase in pay since late 2010, when the federal pay freeze went into effect. The proposal, which still need a congressional nod, has been met with mixed feelings. A Federal News Radio poll showed that significantly more considered the proposal an insult (50 percent) rather than a welcome gesture (9 percent).

What do you think of this proposal? Are lawmakers entitled to more money if federal employees get a 0.5 percent raise? How likely is Congress to deny itself more money?

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

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Reader comments

Tue, Apr 3, 2012

STOP! Stop making Federal employees pay for your (Congress) mistakes, your failure, your messed up way of running the country. Freeze our pay until 2015? What about people living in apartments, rent goes up once a year, gas goes up, food goes up, and our salaries stand still for a total of 5 years? How is this fair to us? Two years is definately ENOUGH! STOP NOW, WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND OUR LAW MAKERS TO LOOK OUT FOR OUR BEST INTEREST, NOT HURT US LIKE THEY ARE DOING!

Tue, Feb 7, 2012

Completely agree with the last few sentences of the second comment above. Employees that are max'd out in their pay grade are really the ONLY frozen federal salaries. Steps still occur and heck even the CSRS and FERS retirees just got a 3.6% and 2.6% COLA respectively!! Federal pay is NOT frozen, but only for an unfortunate few. Also, cutting congressional pay will also not make a dent in the debt. Remember, the current members of congress booted out the majority of the congress that got us into this mess (2007 and 2008 congress). The one's that got us here are laughing all the way to the retirement bank and we're falling into the trap of blaming a different bunch who are actually trying to right the ship.

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 D. Severn, MD

I don't think congress should receive a pay raise, all they want to do is take from the tax payers, and keep there pockets fat.Talking about extending the pay freeze until 2015,I think we have done our share for the last two years when they did not participate in the pay freeze. Give us our cost of living raise and put a two year pay freeze on their pay.If anybody needs to share in this mess-up it's them I don't know why federal workers have to do this alone. We didn't make this mess they did.

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

ITs time to STOP the nonsense. What about the GS-1-4. They barely make $20,000 to $30,000 per year. And what about the federal employee who's also married to a military retiree. They get a DOUBLE WHAMMY in cuts! Why not make ALL active duty military pay the Tricare fee, which is still much lower than what the civilian workforce pays and it doesn't matter if you have 1 dependent or 6. You still pay the same fee. This would resolve the issue of NOT having to raise retiree Tricare fees. Also stop paying reservist for 4 days work when they only work 2 during their reserve weekends. Also cut back the number of reservist. And lets start giving our maxed out Step 10 employees the payraises they deserve. Even if they can't go past step 10 they should still be entitled to some sort of payraise for doing a good job. It could be by percentage. 2% to 5%. Just something. In the civilian world employees get payraises for doing a good job. They don't stop getting raises because after step 10 on a payscale dictates it. Either add more steps or find another way to give them their raises. Cost of living increases are given to ALL. This is NOT a payraise. Its takes a lot of hard word to get to a step 10. That should NOT be the end of pay raises for federal employees, and sometimes changing careers is NOT an option. Especially for admin employees where the highest adming position is usually a GS-6 or 7. STOP THE MADNESS!!!!!

Fri, Jan 27, 2012 L. Thomas Seattle, WA

Absolutely NO to ANY pay raises for Congress. Further, they should NOT receive any increase for any line item in their budgets either. As a professional in the private sector, I would be fired if my performance were as abysmal as the performance of this Congress. I believe their pay should be reduced by at least 25%. Congress is vastly overpaid (and over-"perked") for the little work they actually do and the lack of cooperation and results on extremely important national issues. If I had my way about it, I'd fire at least 50% of the House of Representative and about 30% of the existing Senate. It is a sad state of affairs, indeed. I think they have all forgotten that they are "public servants" paid for by the people --- not pseudo-royalty. I definitely think term limits is the best answer for our often pathetic "professional politicians". And no, they wouldn't receive hefty defined benefit pensions. Switch these folks to a 401(K) plan and have the government (i.e., the people) match 50% of what each contributes up to a maximum of 5% of their salary. Why should the American tax payers pay for Congress to have something that 90% of Americans do not have? The business contacts these people make serve them very well in their future careers and endeavors. There is no need for the American tax payer to "subsidize" them when they are no longer in office.

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