The Senate has reached a deal to raise the pay of federal employees by $50 per week in the coming weeks.
The agreement, which was announced by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is expected to be finalized by Friday, but Murray said it would allow for workers to receive their full pay increases starting next week.
The deal will also extend a one-week pay freeze for federal workers for one more week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate has also agreed to a two-year extension of unemployment benefits for people who have worked at least six weeks.
That’s a provision that Republicans have threatened to take up in the upcoming lame-duck session.
Murray told reporters Wednesday that her office had been working on the deal, which also included a three-month extension of Medicare and $30 billion in additional funding for the Department of Homeland Security.
Murray said she hopes the deal will help make sure federal workers don’t have to work even more if Congress fails to raise unemployment insurance benefits.
The House passed a $1.2 trillion stimulus package in December and the Senate passed a stimulus package last month.
The Senate is also expected to vote on another $1 trillion stimulus bill next week that would pay for the cost of the government’s efforts to repair the nation’s roads, bridges and airports.
The budget agreement was reached after Democrats, along with several Republicans, voted to extend unemployment benefits and raise Medicare benefits.
Democrats, led by Sen, Joe Manchin, D, West Virginia, and Rep., Kevin McCarthy, R, California, also passed legislation last month that would give workers more money to take home during their paid leave.
They say the money would be used to help pay for job training and job retraining.
The Senate is set to vote next week on a two and a half-year package of federal stimulus spending that would increase unemployment benefits by $1,200 for people already eligible for the extension and $1 for anyone receiving an extension.
A third-party group, Americans for Prosperity, which had been pushing for the two-month delay, filed a lawsuit against the Senate over the two bills.
In the past, Murray has supported the extension of the federal government’s payroll tax credit for low-income Americans.
Manchin, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Wednesday that the Senate’s deal with Murray would ensure that federal workers have the same pay raises as other workers.
The extension will also pay for additional training programs for workers and more aid for small businesses, he said.
“The Senate agreement is long overdue and will make a real difference in the lives of hardworking Americans who need it,” he said in a statement.