Donald Trump Scraps Federal Employees' Planned Pay Raise, Calls It 'Inappropriate'

Donald Trump Scraps Federal Employees' Planned Pay Raise, Calls It 'Inappropriate'

Donald Trump Scraps Federal Employees' Planned Pay Raise, Calls It 'Inappropriate'

Employees who also get a percentage added on based on their location will not see an average 26 percent increase to their locality pay in the new year, which would have cost the federal government an estimated $25 billion.

"Federal employees deserve the full measure of pay comparability provided by the law, and a 1.9 percent increase is the minimum that Congress should consider", he said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee emphatically beat back an amendment to strike the pay raise during a markup in June, rejecting the proposal in a 2-29 vote and keeping the raise.

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.

In contrast to civilian employees, troops are due for a 2.6 percent pay increase next year.

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Unions representing the 2 million-member federal workforce urged Congress to pass the 1.9 percent pay raise.

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. "In light of our Nation's fiscal situation, Federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets", Trump said. Trump says he's determined that for 2019 "both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero".

But Trump's pay freeze comes even as he touts a booming economy. A judge struck down most of those provisions last week.

This is not the first time in recent history that a president has frozen civilian federal pay raises. "I can think of nothing more hypocritical or disingenuous than to turn around and throw hardworking federal employees under the bus on the pretext of fiscal responsibility". However, Trump in May proposed cutting total federal employee compensation by $143.5 billion.

While the Washington area contains the largest concentration of federal workers, only 1-in-6 civilian employees of the government live in the region. This newfound concern for the fiscal prudence is impossible to credit, given Trump's willingness to create massive deficits and determination to waste money on pet projects like his border wall.

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