The Senate Appropriations Committee is lending its tacit support for President Biden’s proposed 2.7 percent pay increase for Federal employees in 2022, according to appropriations legislation released by the committee this week.

By not including a specific pay raise figure in the legislation, Senate appropriators are giving their endorsement to President Biden’s 2.7 percent pay raise plan outlined in his FY2022 budget request and formalized in a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in August.

The Senate appropriations legislation remains subject to negotiation, and still needs approval from the committee, and then the full Senate.

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If Congress doesn’t enact a specific pay raise before the end of the year, President Biden’s plan will take effect on “the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2022,” President Biden said in his August letter.

“I have determined that for 2022, the across-the-board base pay increase will be 2.2 percent and locality pay increases will average 0.5 percent, resulting in an overall average increase of 2.7 percent for civilian Federal employees, consistent with the assumption in my 2022 Budget,” President Biden said in the letter. “This alternative pay plan decision will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well-qualified Federal workforce.”

The House Appropriations Committee has also backed President Biden’s 2.7 percent pay increase for Federal employees in a similar way, by not including a specific pay raise figure in its FY2022 Financial Services and General Government funding bill it unveiled in June.

The 2.7 percent pay increase would be a significant step up from the 1 percent increase Federal civilian employees received in the FY2021 spending bill. However, it would be a decrease from the 3.1 percent bump Feds received in the FY2020 omnibus spending package.

The 2.7 percent increase is less than some might have hoped for, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, who introduced a 3.2 percent pay raise earlier this year.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.