WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is offering civilian federal workers and members of the military a 1 percent pay increase in 2015, the same raise he offered last year citing efforts to keep government costs down during the economic recovery.

The new pay raises reflect what Obama proposed in his 2015 budget earlier this year.

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Obama sent a letter Friday describing the raises to the House and Senate. The figure is lower than private sector pay increase and lower than what a government formula for raises would have provided. Obama can bypass that formula by informing Congress of his alternative plan by the end of August.

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Federal employees operated under a pay freeze until January of this year when the current 1 percent pay increase took effect.

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