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Published On: Fri, Aug 31st, 2018

Trump to freeze non-military federal raises

President Trump repeated his call for lawmakers to freeze the salaries of 2 million federal employees in 2019 Thursday, even threatening to use his executive powers to do so. Trump’s pay freeze doesn’t apply to members of the military, who are set to get a 2.6% pay increase at the start of the year.

The House has passed legislation making no mention of a raise, effectively endorsing the freeze that Trump originally proposed in February. The Senate has passed a competing measure allowing a 1.9 percent increase.

Trump said the federal government could not afford the increases, and in effect set a new default raise of zero.

photo/donkeyhotey

“Under current law, locality pay increases averaging 25.70 percent, costing $25 billion, would go into effect in January 2019, in addition to a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for the base General Schedule. We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump’s letter said.

The federal budget deficit has grown 16 percent this fiscal year, the result of a combination of Trump-supported tax cuts and military spending, as well as increases in mandatory spending programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

“I strongly oppose eliminating the pay raise for civilian federal employees and will work with my colleagues to have the pay raise included in our appropriations,” Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said in a statement. “We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our federal employees and I will work with my House and Senate colleagues to keep the pay increase in our appropriations measures that we vote on in September.”

Today’s announcement has nothing to do with making government more cost-efficient — it’s just the latest attack in the Trump Administration’s war on federal employees,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

It’s no surprise that the Virginia legislators would be the most vocal opponents since their constituents would be the hardest hit.

“This is a deeply disappointing action and one more indication that this administration, in this economic environment, simply does not respect its own workforce,” National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon said in a statement.

“Federal workers truly are America’s workforce – more than 2 million dedicated and committed federal workers who care for our veterans, support our military, protect our environment, and help working families make ends meet. More than one-third are veterans themselves, while many more work to support spouses or children who are actively serving,” said American Federation of Government Employees president J. David Cox. Sr.

According to 2017 data, the federal government employs about 2.2 million civilian workers—1.5 percent of the U.S. workforce—spread among more than 100 agencies in jobs that represent over 650 occupations. The salary of almost all of the positions are much more than their public sector counterparts, see more here.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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