On Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that will freeze pay for our government’s Federal workers in the coming year.
He was following through on a promise he made earlier in the year to get rid of pay increase throughout the Federal government.
In August, the President had announced that he would be canceling the 2.1 percent Federal government pay increase, which would have been put into place in January.
The Hill reports:
The order also cancels the “locality pay increase,” which adjusts paychecks based on the region of the country where workers are posted.
The order does not, however, impact a 2.6 percent pay raise for the military for next year that was part of a defense spending bill Trump signed in August.
The announcement making the pay freeze official comes as hundreds of thousands of federal employees head into the new year furloughed or forced to work without pay as a result of a partial government shutdown that began last week.
The executive order affects most of the 2.1 million federal employees around the nation, about 1.7 million of which live in areas outside of the Washington, D.C., metro area.
The Trump administration approved a 1.4 percent Federal pay increase last year, in addition to a 2.4 percent increase in military pay.
Earlier in the year, the Senate instated a 1.9 percent pay increase in spending plans for the coming year, however the House’s version of the bill didn’t have the increase.
A Federal pay raise could be enforced by lawmakers through legislation to reopen our country’s government, however both Democrats and Republicans are stuck in a debate over funding for President Trump’s coveted border wall.
“We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump penned in an August letter to congressional leaders when he announced pay freeze plans.
“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,” he continued.
Bipartisan criticism stemmed from the August letter.
“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,” Republican Representative Barbara Comstock said at the time.
The Hill reports:
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the nation’s largest union representing federal employees, urged Congress to override the move and stick to the Senate’s pay proposal.
“President Trump’s plan to freeze wages for these patriotic workers next year ignores the fact that they are worse off today financially than they were at the start of the decade,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr.
Federal employees have had their pay and benefits cut by over $200 billion since 2011, and they are earning nearly 5 percent less today than they did at the start of the decade,” he added.