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Obama Authorizes Larger Federal Pay Raise

(CBS NEWS) President Obama on Thursday authorized a higher pay increase than expected for civilian federal employees.

The move to authorize an average pay raise of 2.1 percent for 2017 was announced in letters to the House and Senate. This comes after the president submitted a 1.6 percent raise in August.

“However, in light of the decision of Congress to provide a 2.1 percent pay increase for military personnel in 2017 and reconsideration of current and projected economic conditions, I have concluded it would be appropriate to revise my original alternative plan for locality payments so that the total combined cost of the 1.0 percent across-the-board base pay increase and varying locality payments will be 2.1 percent of basic payroll,” the letter said.

The raise will take effect on Jan. 1.

Mr. Obama noted in the letter that civilian federal employees “made significant sacrifices as a result of the 3-year pay freeze that ended in 2014” and that annual adjustments for them have been lower than pay increases for workers in the private sector.

Congress approved of a 2.1 percent pay raise in the defense authorization bill that both houses passed and is heading to the president’s desk.

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