Trump announces plan to cancel pay raises for civilian workers across the federal government

"Congress can and must stand up to the President and reject this assault on our federal workers by passing the 1.9 percent pay raise that the Senate approved on August 1.”

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Image Credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

Pay raises for civilian workers across the federal government were nixed by Donald Trump in an announcement to congressional leaders on Thursday. This means 1.8 million workers won’t get their “automatic pay boost next year,” Politico reported.

Citing the “nation’s fiscal situation,” Trump said pay raises should be a result of “performance” not “across-the-board” increases.

“We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump said.

But with most civilian workers “slated to receive a 2.1 percent increase under a years-old government formula,” many lawmakers will do all they can to reverse the pay free by Trump before the start of the next fiscal year on Oct. 1.

“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,” Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), said in a statement.

While the Senate has already backed a 1.9 percent pay raise for civilian federal employees this year, many senators vow to override Trump’s doing. But with House Republicans approving a spending bill that follows Trump’s cancelled raises, Congress will have to come to an agreement before Oct. 1.

“Congress can and must stand up to the President and reject this assault on our federal workers by passing the 1.9 percent pay raise that the Senate approved on August 1,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a statement.

As part of the White House’s pay freeze, Trump announced he was canceling “extra pay increases for federal workers living in more expensive parts of the country, including Washington, D.C., where employees last year saw a 28.22 percent increase thanks to so-called ‘locality‘ pay,” Politico reported.

The White House has received much backlash not only from both members of Congress, but also union leaders.

“Federal employees deserve the full measure of pay comparability provided by the law, and a 1.9 percent increase is the minimum that Congress should consider,” American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox said in a statement.

A vote in Congress is set for September.

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