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Trump Says Freeze Federal Workers Pay

After promising a 1% raise he is backtracking

Brian Young's picture
Dec 08, 2020

Trump may be on his way out, but he is using his last few weeks in office to continue his war on federal workers. As negotiations continue over the 2021 pay for federal workers, Trump has released a statement backing a Republican proposal that would freeze wages for the next year.

The move came as the Senate is negotiating an omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the next year. The letter was sent to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby. Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought confirmed that Trump would be supporting the pay freeze. Without a raise, federal workers will actually be facing a pay cut in 2021 because Trump is requiring them to pay high rates for their health insurance.

“In the context of budgetary constraints and recent, pandemic-related impacts on non-federal labor markets, the administration supports the policy in the bill to maintain for 2021 the current level of federal civilian pay,” Vought wrote.

Trump had previously promised federal workers a 1% raise in 2021.

“The fact that President Trump backtracked on his promise of a pay increase is insulting to the federal workers risking their lives on the front lines of this pandemic to ensure government services go uninterrupted, our prisons stay secure, our military stays ready, airline passengers stay safe, and our veterans get the care they need,” said Everett Kelley, President of the AFGE.

In the House, Democrats have supported the 1% increase in a bill they passed over the summer. They are also supporting a 3% increase for military members that is included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Congress is expected to vote on the NDAA before the end of the year, although Trump has said that he will veto the bill unless it has a repeal of a law, Section 230, protecting internet companies from lawsuits.

“It’s sad that even on his way out, President Trump still can’t resist the opportunity to stick it to the government workers he so often vilified during his four years in office. If he wants to throw a temper tantrum over the American people’s decision, he needs to leave federal employees out of it,” said Kelley. “There is no justification for denying hardworking employees their well-deserved pay increase next year. We call on lawmakers to reject this disrespectful proposal.”

Government spending is set to run out on December 11th. Congress is likely to pass a temporary spending bill to buy them another week, pushing a decision on 2020 pay rates until right before the holidays.

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