Wednesday, August 27, 2003

National Emergency


A national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001, that now includes Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Full statutory civilian pay increases costing 13 percent of payroll in 2004 would interfere with our Nation's ability to pursue the war on terrorism. Such increases would cost about $13 billion in fiscal year 2004 alone -- $11 billion more than the 2 percent overall Federal civilian pay increase I proposed in my 2004 Budget -- and would build in later years.

Such cost increases would threaten our efforts against terrorism or force deep cuts in discretionary spending or Federal employ-ment to stay within budget. Neither outcome is acceptable. Therefore, I have determined that a total pay increase of 2 percent would be appropriate for GS and certain other employees in January 2004...

...I will allocate 1.5 percent of the 2 percent total increase to an across-the-board increase under section 5303 of title 5, United States Code, and use the remaining 0.5 percent of payroll to continue the implementation of the locality pay program under section 5304. Our national situation precludes granting larger pay increases to GS employees at this time.

I suppose Bush sent this letter from the golf course.