Federal agencies told to hold off pay raises

Mike Pence and others get sweetheart pay raises while Trump stiffs federal workers: report

Mike Pence and others get sweetheart pay raises while Trump stiffs federal workers: report

The Trump administration has frozen pay raises for Vice President Mike Pence, Cabinet members, and select appointees amid the partial government shutdown, the White House announced Friday evening.

The raises would have been triggered due to a pay freeze for top federal officials expiring because of the shutdown.

President Donald Trump had said at a press conference on Friday that he was considering asking top officials, including cabinet secretaries, to forgo the raises.

Pence himself will now reportedly be making $243,500 a year, up from $230,700.

The scheduled raises appeared to be an unintended effect of the government shutdown, The Associated Press reported.

The pay raise issue arose as Trump, Pence, and Congressional leaders met again on Friday to try to come to an agreement on a budget to end the partial shutdown, which is affecting about 25 percent of the federal government.

Without legislation, the pay freeze was set to expire and pay was set to jump automatically.

The shutdown has left 800,000 federal employees on furlough or working without pay.

Mainstream media decried the possible pay hikes but later admitted that House Republicans initiated a freeze on raises for senior-level officials back in 2013.

The White House and a spokesperson for the vice president did not respond to requests for comment from the Post.

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 House and Senate passed a new stopgap funding bill without the funding he sought by December 21, but the president refused to sign the legislation.

The raises would cost taxpayers US$300 million over 10 years, according to the Senior Executives Association, which represents the government's approximately 7,000 highest-paid career officials.

The extension of the long-standing freeze on raises was included in bills that were not acted on before the 115 Congress ended, according to published reports.

Managing pay freezes and pay increases may be hard, anyway, because so many are not working, federal personnel executives said.

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