The Senate on Wednesday approved a short-term funding measure that would keep the government operating through September but deny a scheduled pay raise for federal workers and lock in the sequester cuts over the same period.
The bill, which passed by a vote of 73 to 26, now moves to the House, which approved a similar measure two weeks ago. The House can vote on the Senate legislation or go to conference to resolve the differences between the two proposals.
Both versions would give the Obama administration more control over how it implements the sequester cuts, although the Senate measure would do so to a greater degree. Neither would lift the threat of furloughs for federal workers.
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees association responded negatively to the provision in the Senate bill that would deny the scheduled 0.5 percent pay increase for federal workers.
“By extending the federal employee pay freeze for a third year, the House and Senate continue to use federal employees to fix a problem they didn’t create,” said NARFE president Joseph A. Beaudoin.
Federal salary rates have not increased since January 2010, although eligible workers have continued to received pay bumps in the form of performance bonuses and step increases, as well as for promotions.
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