Monday, 18 November, 2019


Top Trump Administration Officials Are Set to Receive $10,000 Raises

Vice President Mike Pence with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in December Vice President Mike Pence with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in December. Associated Press J. Scott Applewhite
Bennie Garza | 07 January, 2019, 13:24

While hundreds of thousands of federal employees go without pay and the government remains partially shut down with no end in sight, hundreds of President Trump's political appointees and other administration officials are poised to get fat annual raises of about $10,000 a year. The 115th Congress had included an extension of the pay freeze in bills funding the government, but those bills failed to pass before that Congress expired and the 116th Congress was seated, according to The New York Times.

At the end of the first day of the new session of Congress on Thursday, House Democrats pushed through a bill to reinstate the executive pay freeze and reopen parts of the government without funding Trump's border wall. Cabinet secretaries will go from more than $199,000 to over $210,000.

Without the salary caps in place, Pence is entitled to a $13,000 raise on Saturday, bringing his compensation to $243,500 per year.

Managing pay freezes and pay increases may be hard, anyway, because so many are not working, federal personnel executives said.

Mainstream media decried the possible pay hikes but later admitted that House Republicans initiated a freeze on raises for senior-level officials back in 2013.

President Donald Trump was asked by a reporter Friday whether he would consider halting the raises, or halting them during the shutdown.

The latest guidance on the pay raises was issued Friday in a memo from Margaret Weichert, the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The memo came after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration was aware of the issue and was "exploring options to prevent this from being implemented while some federal workers are furloughed".

The House and Senate passed a new stopgap funding bill without the funding he sought by December 21, but the president refused to sign the legislation. But as furor arose over the pending pay raises, Weichert issued new guidance late Friday night, telling federal departments and agencies to hold off on any raises for the top officials "until appropriations legislation is enacted that would clarify the status of the freeze".

Trump planned to meet with congressional leaders at 11 a.m. Saturday for more negotiations.

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