House Passes Bill Affecting Raise, IRS Bonuses
Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The House has passed a key spending bill that by remaining silent on a January 2015 federal employee raise takes a major step toward allowing one to occur. Voting on the financial services-general government bill (HR-5016) was the best opportunity for opponents of a raise to block one but no amendments to that effect were offered. By taking no position, the House has left the door open for a raise to be paid by default, which similarly happened last year. A default raise almost certainly would be the 1 percent the White House recommended earlier this year, which would be formalized by an order that would be due by the end of August. The counterpart Senate bill also is silent regarding a raise. One complication is that the White House has threatened to veto the House version over a number of policy provisions and reductions to IRS funding—which was lowered even more by amendments accepted after the veto threat was issued. The House also accepted an amendment to bar payment of performance awards to SES members at the IRS, mirroring a step it took in an earlier spending bill involving the VA. The bill already had contained a provision barring the payment of awards to any IRS employee unless the employee’s conduct and personal tax compliance is taken into account.