New Spending Bill Gives $35 Billion in Raises to Federal Workforce

Agresti, J. D. (2019, February 15). New Spending Bill Gives $35 Billion in Raises to Federal Workforce. Retrieved from
Agresti, James D. “New Spending Bill Gives $35 Billion in Raises to Federal Workforce.” Just Facts. 15 February 2019. Web. 13 April 2024.<>.
Chicago (for footnotes)
James D. Agresti, “New Spending Bill Gives $35 Billion in Raises to Federal Workforce.” Just Facts. February 15, 2019.
Chicago (for bibliographies)
Agresti, James D. “New Spending Bill Gives $35 Billion in Raises to Federal Workforce.” Just Facts. February 15, 2019.

By James D. Agresti
February 15, 2019

The spending bill just passed by Congress—which President Trump says he will sign—grants an across-the-board pay raise of 1.9% to federal civilian employees. This will cost taxpayers about $3.7 billion in 2019 and $35 billion over the next 10 years.

According to data from the White House Office of Management & Budget, federal civilian non-postal employees were slated to earn about $196 billion in salaries and $85 billion in benefits during 2019. Hence, the 1.9% increase in their salaries will cost taxpayers about $3.7 billion in 2019.

The salary increase also establishes a new baseline going forward. Over 10 years—the standard timeframe for Congressional Budget Office analyses—a 1.9% raise will cost taxpayers roughly $35 billion. For a point of comparison, this is 25 times more than the $1.375 billion that the bill provides for new border barriers.

The $35 billion estimate assumes that the federal workforce doesn’t grow, and it discounts the value of their raise for inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose by 1.9% in 2018, so this increase merely keeps pace with inflation.

However, most federal employees are paid substantially more than their counterparts in the private sector. A 2017 Congressional Budget Office study found that federal civilian, non-postal employees receive an average of 17% more total compensation than comparable private sector workers.

At least five other recent studies that account for workers’ benefits, education, experience, and skills have found that federal employees enjoy a significant advantage in compensation over similar private-sector workers.

In 2017, federal, state and local governments spent $1.94 trillion on employee compensation. This amounts to an average of $15,388 from every household in the United States.

The spending bill passed the House of Representatives with 82% of Democrats voting for it and 66% of Republicans voting against it. It passed the Senate with 89% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans voting for it.

  • February 15, 2019 at 6:56 PM

    I had no idea this was in the bill! Nothing in press about this.

  • February 28, 2019 at 3:40 PM

    When I was a young man entering the workforce, government salaries/wages were lower than the private sector. Considering the amount of featherbedding in government work it seemed reasonable. Now the situation is reversed. We are paying more people for less efficiency. I am astonished that we make such a long term commitment. The Congress, considering its do-nothing-worthwhile character, certainly doesn’t deserve more pay until it proves it merits it. Right now, I would lower its pay. Who does its evaluation? Why don’t the citizens have a say? We need term limits in this country. Our bloated bureaucracy is a farce. Ever since the beginning of the Great Society we have paid much for minus results.

    • June 14, 2019 at 4:25 PM

      The reason is not enough interest. In the late 1980’s Term Limits was passed with other items in something called Contract With America. Term Limits specifically was quashed by the then Supreme Court. Heavily liberal.

      Nothing has been done since that time to this under the false assumption that once The Court speaks it’s over. Not True. Congress can submit an Act to give the States back their powers which were to be blunt stolen. Under the 10th Amendment Congress and the Court had no right to rule on powers not granted. In truth they ignored Constitutional law.

      Which brings up another false assumption. If a power is not granted it cannot be assumed to exist. Which is what the then government was doing. Obama’s stupid phrase was “Not yet been visited by the Court.

      Others just ignored the ‘not granted’ requirement without saying anything. Lincoln, Wilson, FDR and those following and the Draft are the best example.

      A power not granted has no need to be visited. If it’s desired by some they must enact an amendment and that has never been done for Term Limits.

      What is true is the States hold all powers to run elections within their States. Except those such as requirement for the federal level, two candidates only, to use the Electoral College and the prescribed system for ties and have a majority not a plurality.

      States can pass term limits and apply them at any time they wish up to any level. excluding President and Vice President. the same applies to Recall, Initative, and Referendum.

      Asking the Court to re-consider that earlier ruling would be the easiest way but with one more change back towards the center wherein lies our Constitution more sure.

      For sure Term Limits and Recall will continue to not be applied until their is enough interest. That means voters. Down home, independent, self governing citizen voters of the type described by the founders.

      So no we wait until there is enough interest. 23 or 24 comments at best in the last four years or so hardly qualifies.

  • June 10, 2019 at 2:18 PM

    Still too many RINOs in government…


Make a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Articles by Topic