President Trump addresses shutdown talks between Administration and democrat aides

Marsha Scott
January 7, 2019

While 800,000 federal workers are now either working without pay or furloughed and not entitled to retroactive pay, President Donald Trump's top appointees as well as Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to get pay raises averaging about $10,000 per year on Saturday-and the shutdown is to blame for the glaring inequity.

The pay raises will go into effect for cabinet secretaries, their deputies, agency administrators and other senior officials, the Washington Post reported.

When lawmakers failed to pass bills on December 21 to fund multiple federal agencies, they allowed an existing pay freeze to expire, the paper reported. Cabinet secretaries will go from more than $199,000 to over $210,000.

Pence himself will now reportedly be making $243,500 a year, up from $230,700. Under secretaries, deputy directors and other high-ranking officials also would have their pay affected. We will issue separate guidance regarding whether this pay freeze will be continued or terminated.

The cap on salaries for some senior political officials was extended in March 2018, and a memo issued the following month by the Office of Personnel Management said Congress would need to act before January 5, 2019, in order to keep the freeze in place.

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In 2013, Congress voted to impose a pay freeze on federal executives. She had said the administration was "exploring options to prevent this from being implemented while some federal workers are furloughed".

Indeed, the automatic pay raises have been criticized by Democrats, one of whom was Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), the newly-appointed chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Almost 800,000 workers have gone without pay since the shutdown: About 380,000 have been furloughed, and others have continued to work through the shutdown and will be paid when it ends.

The government's Office of Personnel Management did not respond to a request for comment.

At the end of the first day of the new session of Congress on Thursday, House Democrats pushed through a bill to reinstate the executive pay freeze and reopen parts of the government without funding Trump's border wall. The Senior Executives Association, an organization that represents the highest-earning career government officials, estimates that the pay bump will cost taxpayers $300 million over 10 years.

Trump previously froze pay for all federal workers in 2019 apart from the military.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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