5/17/07: In a vote of 397-27, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1585, the Department of Defense’s Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008 which includes the 3.5 percent military pay raise. This is ½ percent above the administration’s recommended increase of 3 percent and significant for federal employees who have received pay parity with the military in recent years. The Senate Armed Services subcommittees will begin marking up their version of the authorization bill next week.
While the military pay raise still needs to be considered by the House and Senate appropriations committees where it is conceivable that a lower level could be appropriated, this development is important. It sets a significant precedent for the 3.5 percent pay raise when appropriators consider the legislation funding federal employees’ pay raise. That bill, called the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, is expected to be marked up in the House prior to the DOD’s appropriations bill.
There is still a long way to go, however, NTEU President Colleen Kelley's testimony calling for a 3.5 percent pay raise for both groups is making an impact. NTEU is pleased that this DOD authorization bill passed the House, and the union will continue to fight for an identical 3.5 percent pay raise for federal employees.