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Robert Longley

Obama Gives Federal Workers a Raise

By December 31, 2012

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Update- Jan. 2, 2013: The bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" -- the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 - passed by the Senate on December 31, 2012 and the House on Jan. 1 2013,  includes a provision rejecting the 0.5% raise granted to Congress in President Obama's executive order. With final passage of the bill, there will no raise for members of Congress in 2013.

By an executive order issued December 27, 2012, President Obama later this spring will end the pay freeze for federal workers he first imposed in 2010. Also due to get raises under the order will be Vice President Joe Biden and the 535 members of the U.S. Congress.

Effective on their first paychecks after March 27, 2013, federal employees will see raises of from 0.5% to 1.0%, depending on the geographic location of their jobs. A February 2012 poll showed that the overall job satisfaction and dedication of the federal workforce had fallen to its lowest point since 2003, due largely to frustration with the three year pay freeze.

The most significant raise will go to Vice President Biden. The salary of the vice president will increase by 2.38%, from $225,521 per last year to $231,900 after the raise.

In Congress, the salaries of rank-and-file members of both the House and Senate will see the same 0.5% increase as civilian federal employees, with their annual salaries increasing by about $75 per month, from $174,000 to $174,900.

Also See: The 10 Wealthiest Members of Congress

Among congressional leadership, the salary of the Speaker of the House -currently John Boehner (R-Ohio) - will increase from $223,600 to $224,500. The salaries of the House and Senate majority and minority leaders will increase from $193,400 to $194,400.

This will mark the first pay increase for the members of Congress since they accepted a $4,700 per year, across-the-board cost of living increase in January 2009.

Also See:
Salaries and Benefits of Congress
Presidential Pay and Compensation


December 31, 2012 at 3:34 am
(1) ding says:

For failing to come up with any compromise and for bringing the country into the next dip into the receession, the idiots in Congress gets a raise.

December 31, 2012 at 6:49 am
(2) luigi says:

they get a hefty raise and yet Obozo worries about fianacial cliff?

December 31, 2012 at 8:05 am
(3) Joe Mama says:

Yikes Luigi. I’m glad I don’t consider 0.5% to be “hefty”! I’d hate to see what you consider to be a crappy raise! Now, as ding pointed out, Congress getting any raise is pretty sad, but I couldn’t help but laugh and your choice of adjectives. What’s your opinion on defense spending I wonder?

December 31, 2012 at 9:27 am
(4) Vigil Annie says:

So glad to see Obama is giving the poor dears a raise this year…after years of spectacular non-performance. What is a parent supposed to tell a child who refuses to do assigned chores, yet wants a raise in their allowance? “That’s not the way the world works” ? Sure seems it’s exactly the way the world works.

December 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm
(5) kennyk113 says:

If our goverment system is of the people by the people then why can,t
we have Congress and the Senate live like we do? Get them on social Securiety and on a health plan like we have so they can “govern” with the people in mind, like they were voted in to do. I hope that you will remember this when you go to the voting booth. Vote all incumbants out .

December 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm
(6) John Barrett says:

That will include a pay raise for the military. Congress gets 1/2 of 1% if my boss gave me 1/2 of one percent I’d be upset. What do you consider a viable cost of living or pay raise?

Dam giving a raise to those military that fight and give their lives getting a raise probably iritates the crap out of ya’ll as well. Those Hostess executives who gave themselves 300 percent raises and put the business into bankrupcy and cost thousands their jobs didn’t seem to upset anyone.

Guess it’s just that black president giving federal employees a half of one persent raise is just a disgrace. Well Congress can block it what is the chance that will happen. The law for the raise was already on the books and blocked for last few years.

January 1, 2013 at 9:43 am
(7) Gary says:

The part of this article about Congressional pay raises is no longer true based on the 89-8 Senate vote and presumable House approval. The only way those salaries can rise now is if the Republican-controlled House rejects the fiscal cliff deal. Either edit this article or take it down. Eight hours is an eternity in electronic media.

January 1, 2013 at 10:42 am
(8) usgovinfo says:

Gary is right and I updated the post as soon as I got up this morning and found a link to the fiscal cliff bill. AT this time, passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the House is far from assured.

Just so everybody knows, About.com Guides work alone — no staff. We are not CNN and sometimes, we actually observe holidays, too.

Thanks and Happy New Year’s everybody.

Robert Longley

January 2, 2013 at 12:07 am
(9) Terry says:

It is audacious and irresponsible for Congress to receive raises and to take vacations before they have taken care of one of the most important issues in the country! A reward for doing nothing. Unbelievable. Millions of Americans lives are held in such little regard. And we are the laughing stock of the world. It is very sad.

January 2, 2013 at 5:47 am
(10) usgovinfo says:

Terry and all: Congress rejected this raise. See:


Congress did not ask President Obama for a raise and several members (Republicans and Democrats, both) were quite upset that he included it in his order.

Robert Longley

January 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm
(11) stephen says:

I heard that members of Congress receive this salary for life, is this true?

January 3, 2013 at 5:37 am
(12) usgovinfo says:

Stephen: No — That’s not true. Members of Congress who serve long enough get the same retirement plan as regular federal employees when they leave Congress. Members who leave before serving long enough to qualify for retirement get nothing.

For the truth, see: Salaries and Benefits of US Congress Members


“Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they’ve completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Members of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.”

Pretty much like private sector retirement plans.

January 3, 2013 at 11:50 am
(13) Vinny says:

Thanks Robert for reporting strsight forward facts. Too much media is swayed. Keep it real.


January 7, 2013 at 9:22 am
(14) shirley white says:

Why should the government get raises at this time -was it to pass the bill? Us with social security did get a raise but so did the cost of everything else for us on a fixed income. If the government would give up there raises it may help others. The MIDDLE CLASS.

March 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm
(15) josepha says:

Congress does NOT deserve a raise. Any body, like the House or the Senate, that does not do its job, and takes time off weekend after weekend, vacation after vacation, while the nation waits for a budget, and other work to be done, is insane. The current system should not be rewarded with a raist, but should be shamed by its constituents.
I know that I have gone 2 years without a raise, not because I have not done my job, but because the economy is terrible. What is Congress doing about that, besides sucking up more of my tax dollars in their increases in pay and benefits?
However, the President does not deserve a pay raise either. He has failed to submit a budget on time 3 years out of 4, this year being no exception. As President, I think this is his biggest obligation, bigger than playing golf with Tigger (affair) Woods, bigger than going on vacation with his family. He made the decision about sequestration; he needs to step up to the plate with some numbers before he gets more of our tax dollars.

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