Trump Cancels Pay Raise Due to Federal Workers in January

"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".

The president cited his authorities under Title 5, United States Code to implement pay adjustments in response to national emergencies and serious economic conditions. Federal News Radio reports that a spending plan approved by the Senate includes a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal employees while the House's own version of the bill does not include such measures.

In the letter, sent to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), Trump said the government could not sustain the scheduled increases.

President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address a joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans, Thursday, January 26, 2017. In addition, a yearly adjustment of paychecks based on the region of the country where a worker is posted - the "locality pay increase" - was due to take effect. "These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well qualified Federal workforce". However, in the budget plan he released earlier this year, setting spending priorities for the coming year, Trump indicated he would seek a freeze on federal pay.

Scrapping the raises will save more than $25 billion, Trump said.

Unions representing the 2 million-member federal workforce urged Congress to pass the 1.9 percent pay raise. Also that month, Trump signed three executive orders that made it easier to fire civilian employees and put new limits on union activity.

"Zero. This seems to be how much respect President Trump has for federal workers", he said in a statement.

A federal judge overturned numerous provisions last week, and the administration says it will comply with the order.

"Trump has delivered yet another slap in the face to American workers", said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. The president last year signed a package of tax cuts that is forecast to expand the deficit by about $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, wrote: "Let's be clear: The President's decision to cancel any pay increase for federal employees is not motivated by a sudden onset of fiscal responsibility".

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.

The Trump administration proposed $143.5 billion in cuts to federal employee compensation in May, including substantial decreases in retirement funding.

  • Anthony Vega