Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released the text of all twelve funding bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said it is his hope that, with the release of the bills showing the priorities of the Senate Democrats, members can take a step closer toward reaching a bipartisan compromise. As you may recall, the House of Representative passed a six-bill appropriations package the week before last (read about it here). Given the Senate Appropriations Committee has not considered these bills and the August congressional recess begins soon, it is likely that Congress will need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) in September as funding negotiations continue.
Under the Senate Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) bill, the SEC would receive a $210 million funding increase, similar to the $207 million increase in the House version of the SEC’s budget.
Like its House counterpart, the FSGG also includes many government-wide provisions, but remains silent on the issue of federal employee pay, thereby deferring to the President’s proposal. However, the bill did state that certain senior level political appointees would receive a 4.6 percent increase next year following years of pay freezes. As you know, the President has proposed a 4.6 percent pay increase for federal employees for 2023 and, pursuant to the union’s agreement with the SEC, all SEC employees will receive this raise in addition to a 2.65% merit increase. The President’s his budget request was silent as to whether any amount is allocated for locality pay. According to the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act of 1990, federal employees should receive a 4.1 percent pay increase in 2023 before locality pay is added. NTEU is continuing to work with Congress and the Administration in support for the FAIR Act (H.R. 6398/S. 3518), which provides an average 5.1 percent increase consisting of a 4.1 percent across-the-board increase and an average 1.0 percent for locality pay.
The FSGG bill also continues the ban on funding new outsourcing activities under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76, which is important given recent renewed calls by some in Congress to outsource additional federal jobs. Furthermore, the bill also attempts to codify a provision to prevent a future administration from enacting a scheme similar to Schedule F that, if implemented, could have affected tens of thousands of federal employees, stripping them of their civil service protections and allowing them to be hired and fired at will.
The union is pleased to see support for providing a critical increase in funding for the SEC in the FSGG. Please be assured as Congress continues consideration of FY 2023 funding legislation, NTEU will continue to fight for a fair pay raise and adequate funding for all federal agencies.