WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Wednesday that the deal approved by Congress to reopen the federal government would also allow President Barack Obama to go forward with his plan to offer a 1 percent pay raise to federal employees.
Federal employee pay has been frozen for three years. The Obama administration has attempted to offer small raises before, but the effort failed to capture support in Congress. In a joint statement, Mikulski and Sen. Ben Cardin said the agreement would allow the raises to take effect in January.
The legislation also provides retroactive pay for federal workers, which Cardin had pressed for in the Senate.
"The promise of a modest pay raise and back pay for furloughed government employees are good first steps in recognizing the value of federal workers," Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat said in a statement. "They have been the targets of unending attacks. They've been furloughed, laid off and locked out through no fault of their own."
Several Maryland lawmakers played key roles in the pay issue, including Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings who helped shepherd back pay legislation through the House earlier this month.
"The government shutdown was a real punch in the gut to federal workers who were already reeling from multi-year pay freezes, sequestration cuts and furloughs, as well as threats to health and retirement benefits," Cardin said in a statement.