Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

President Trump cancels pay raise due federal workers in January

President Trump cancels pay raise due federal workers in January

Last year, the White House announced a federal pay raise of 1.9 percent for civilian employees and a 2.1 percent pay raise for the military.

But in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday, Trump wrote, "We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases".

While the president cited the effect of civilian raises on the deficit, administration-backed tax cuts and spending hikes are set to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, a fact not lost on critics of the pay freeze.

Trump put the cost of the raises associated with high-cost areas at $25 billion.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who represents many federal workers, blamed what he said was Trump's mismanagement of federal government. While the president has railed against the Washington "swamp", less than 20 percent of the nation's almost 2 million civilian full-time federal employees live in the D.C. metropolitan area, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Congress can override the president's pay freeze through legislation. The Senate has already voted for a 1.9 percent pay raise for civilian federal employees in 2019, but the House version of the spending bill does not include that increase.

Josh Donaldson's 5 greatest moments with the Toronto Blue Jays
It was felt that the Blue Jays would try to deal Donaldson after last season, when his value was still relatively high. Given his injury history, it makes sense that they don't want to risk him accepting that offer and sticking around.

The Democratic National Committee described Trump's letter as "yet another slap in the face to American workers" by the president, while Sen. Congress will ultimately decide whether federal workers get a raise.

Trump explained the move in terms of the national debt, now more than $21 trillion, and the annual deficit, expected to be $804 billion in fiscal 2018.

In his letter, Trump wrote the locality increase in 2019 would average 25.70% and cost the federal government $25 billion.

"His tax bill exploded the deficit, and now he is trying to balance the budget on the backs of federal workers", Connolly said.

The pay freeze comes less than a week after a federal judge in Washington overturned parts of three Trump executive orders attempting to curtail the power of federal labor unions and institute merit-based pay systems for federal employees.

Under President Barack Obama, federal pay was frozen between 2011 and 2013 as the economy recovered from the Great Recession, and no president has allowed full locality pay increases to take effect, according to Bloomberg. The letter was addressed to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and the president made his decision clear by stating, "I have determined that for 2019, both across the board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero". "These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well-qualified Federal workforce". "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 wrote today.

Like this: