House approves bill increasing federal worker pay

House approves bill increasing federal worker pay
© Stefani Reynolds

The House on Wednesday approved the $24.6 billion financial services and general government bill, the 10th of 12 appropriations bills, which included a provision to raise federal pay by 3.1 percent.

The measure passed by 224-196, largely along party lines.

“House Democrats are fighting to ensure that America is safe, strong, and moving forward. The investments in this bill to fund financial regulators and small businesses improve the financial security of every family,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyOvernight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Trump officials say aid to Puerto Rico was knowingly stalled after Hurricane Maria McConnell tees up government funding votes amid stalemate MORE (D-N.Y.) said.

On Tuesday, the House passed a 5-bill appropriations package covering $383 billion, and a week earlier passed a 4-bill package amounting to nearly $1 trillion.

Along with the pay raise, the bill includes provisions for top Democratic priorities. It would allow the federal government to hire DACA recipients and clear the way for financial institutions to service recreational and medical cannabis businesses in states where they are legal.

It budgeted $16.2 million for improving election security, and stripped away restrictions on the District of Columbia spending local money on issues such as abortion, legalizing marijuana, and needle exchange programs.

Almost half the bill was devoted to the Internal Revenue Service, which Democrats say need more resources to enforce tax law and bring in revenue.

Democrats have two more spending bills in the docket. The first, which covers the legislative branch, is being held up over disagreements on whether to raise pay for members of Congress, who have not received a pay increase in over a decade, and which limits top pay for Congressional staff.

The second is the Homeland Security bill, which deals with the politically explosive issue of immigration. Clashes over funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE’s proposed border wall in the Homeland Security bill led to a 35-day shutdown earlier in the year.

The financial services bill that passed on Tuesday included a provision that would block Trump from reprogramming funds from the Treasury toward building the wall, an approach he sought as part of his emergency declaration for the southern border.

The Senate has yet to pass any appropriations bills, but is expected to begin moving ahead in July.

Republicans objected to both the provisions in the bill and the overall spending level.

“The Financial Services bill continues the themes seen throughout the FY20 appropriations bills: increase spending, encourage illegal immigration, and limit the Administration’s authority,” said Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerOvernight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Congress hunts for offramp from looming shutdown fight House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November MORE (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.