Trump Announces Pay Increase Freeze for Federal Employees

Federal Employees

Donald Trump Nixes Scheduled Pay Raises for Civilian Federal Employees Chip Somodevilla Getty Images 30 Aug 2018

Trump said he was axing a 2.1 percent across-the-board raise for most workers as well as locality pay increases averaging 25.7 percent and costing $25 billion. For federal workers, however, their pay is largely set by education and job position, with automatic increases over time based on tenure. Accordingly, I have determined that it is appropriate to exercise my authority to set alternative across-the-board and locality pay adjustments for 2019 pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5303 (b) and 5304a. Under the complex federal pay law, in that case such a message must be issued by the end of August to prevent a much larger raise from taking effect automatically should no decision be made by the end of the year.

That measure, along with a new two-year federal budget and tax cuts heralded by Republicans, have led to accusations Trump is ignoring the federal deficit, despite promising he would address it as president. Military members are set to receive a 2.6. percent raise in 2019, Federal News Radio reported.

Congress can override the president's pay freeze through legislation.

Under the law, the 2.1 percent raise takes effect automatically unless the president and Congress act to change it. Congress is now debating a proposal for a slightly lower, 1.9 percent across-the-board raise to be included in a government funding bill that would require Trump's signature to keep most government functions operating past September.

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President Trump wrote Thursday that federal agency budgets could not sustain a planned pay increase for most civilian employees.

Scrapping the raises will save more than $25 billion, Trump said.

Mr. Trump informed House and Senate leaders in a letter sent Thursday. A judge struck down most of those provisions last week.

"Trump has delivered yet another slap in the face to American workers", said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. The president last year signed a package of tax cuts that is forecast to add about $1.5 trillion to federal deficits over 10 years.

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The proposed raise decrease also includes previous plans of a substantial decrease in retirement funding.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, wrote: "Let's be clear: The President's decision to cancel any pay increase for federal employees is not motivated by a sudden onset of fiscal responsibility".

While the Washington area contains the largest concentration of federal workers, only 1-in-6 civilian employees of the government live in the region. States Trump won in 2016 - including Florida, Pennsylvania and OH - also rank high on the list of states where federal employees work.

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