7/27/07: Congress took two important steps this week to advance the 3.5 percent military pay raise. In so doing, Congress moved forward the likelihood of enacting the 3.5 percent level for both military personnel and federal civilian employees.
First, in a procedural surprise, the Senate removed the pay raise from its version of H.R. 1585, the large Department of Defense Authorization Act and attached it to another legislative vehicle, its version of H.R.1538, the “wounded warrior legislation.” H.R. 1538 then passed the Senate by voice vote. Since that bill had already passed the House, the measures will likely be a subject of a House-Senate conference.
Second, the House Appropriations Committee passed its major appropriations bill, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008, with the 3.5 percent military raise intact. That spending bill will likely go to the House Floor next week.
The 3.5 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees has passed the House and been reported in the Senate. While there are many legislative vehicles involved in the pay raise issue, NTEU's continued advocacy of pay parity has helped. At the current time, every single legislative vehicle moving through Congress includes the 3.5 percent level. However, the President continues to oppose the 3.5 percent level and has threatened to veto measures that contain it. For that reason, NTEU will continue to remain vigilant on this issue.