Many senior U.S. executives will be on leave on Capitol Hill today lobbying for language that would give many of the $50,000-per-year careerists their first pay raise in three years.

The pay issue will be decided when Congress votes on a new continuing resolution to replace the resolution -- to keep government operating -- that expires Dec. 15. The Republican version of the continuing resolution contains language that would raise top pay in the Senior Executive Service to $58,500, and boost the ceiling for other supergrade (GS 16, 17 and 18) feds, and top military personnel to $57,500.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) successfully badgered fellow Republicans to include the executive pay raise language in their version. Senior Executive Association President Jerry Shaw, chief lobbyist for the executive-military pay raise, says Wolf has done "a helluva job" getting the language into the minority version.

Shaw said that Democratic Reps. Mike Barnes and Steny Hoyer of Maryland have worked their side of the aisle to make sure the Democrats' version of the stopgap spending bill also would raise executive pay. As of late yesterday, Democratic leaders had still not decided whether to put it in their bill. Many House members would like to have the executive pay raise tied to a 4.8 percent increase for them. But Rep. Vic Fazio (D-N.Y.) has promised the SEA that if either issue comes to a vote, he will move to separate the House pay raise issue so that the executive raise is not killed because members are reluctant to vote themselves an increase.

The reconciliation bill may be voted on Thursday.