Obama Signs 6-Month CR to Keep Government Open

September 28, 2012

President Obama on Friday signed a six-month temporary spending bill that will keep the government open — and further freeze federal pay scales — until March 27.

Federal employees’ pay scales have already been frozen throughout 2011 and 2012, and the freeze was set to expire in January 2013. But Obama last month proposed extending the freeze until Congress passes an actual budget for fiscal 2013. Obama said next year’s pay raise — which he said should be 0.5 percent — should take effect at the time of the budget’s passage and not be retroactive to January.

The two leading federal employee unions — the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union — have strongly denounced the government’s decision to extend the pay freeze. Union leaders pledged to lobby Congress to make next year’s pay raise retroactive to January 2013.

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