House approves pay raise for federal workers

House approves pay raise for federal workers
© Greg Nash

The House passed legislation to provide a pay increase for federal government workers on Wednesday, less than a week after the end of the partial government shutdown.

Twenty-nine Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure, which cleared 259-161.

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The Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyPerry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry Trump confirms Rick Perry to step down as Energy secretary Overnight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule MORE (D-Va.), would provide a 2.6 percent pay raise, matching what was approved for the military earlier this year.

Its passage comes in the wake of the longest government shutdown in history, in which roughly 800,000 government employees were furloughed or working without pay.

“After five weeks of an unnecessary, costly and painful shutdown, the American people have been reminded how critical the work our federal employees perform is to our national security and economic security,” House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Scalise, Cole introduce resolution to change rules on impeachment Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg defends handling of misinformation in political ads | Biden camp hits Zuckerberg over remarks | Dem bill would jail tech execs for lying about privacy | Consumer safety agency accidentally disclosed personal data MORE (D-Md.) said on the floor. 

“Americans were horrified to learn that many civilian federal employees live paycheck-to-paycheck as they do. Even a single month's delay of income sent many of them to food pantries and in search of emergency loans. That isn't right.”

Critics of the bill argued it’s irresponsible to provide raises for government employees who have demonstrated poor work performance or inappropriate behavior. 

A Republican-backed motion to recommit that would have prohibited employees that were reprimanded for sexual misconduct from receiving the pay increase failed in a 206-216 vote, with one member voting present.