Trump nixes federal pay raise

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Under current law, federal employees were set to receive a 2.1 percent across-the-board pay increase as well as location-based increases beginning on January 1, 2019, but Trump said he is eliminating those raises and wants performance-based pay implemented for federal civilian workers.

"I have determined that for 2019, both across the board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero", the president said in a letter addressed to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-WI, and released by the White House.

30 that to save taxpayers money pay increases for federal employees will not go into effect as they were slated to in January 2019.

In his letter, Trump said federal pay would have automatically risen by 2.1 percent next year. The raise came as part of a $716 billion defense spending bill that Trump signed earlier this month.

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, a Maryland Democrat representing many federal workers living in the D.C. area, quickly criticized the move.

"I strongly oppose eliminating the pay raise for civilian federal employees and will work with my colleagues to have the pay raise included in our appropriations", Comstock said in a statement.

Cox said federal worker pay and benefits have been cut by more than $200 billion since 2011, and workers are now earning 5 percent less than they did at the start of the decade.

Trump is right to point out the scary fiscal situation.

Trump said both increases should no longer happen. "Our public servants have been getting shortchanged for years; including three years of pay freezes under the Obama administration". "These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well qualified Federal workforce".

Trump cited the "significant" cost of employing federal workers as justification for denying the pay increases, and called for federal worker pay to be based on performance and structured toward recruiting, retaining and rewarding "high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets".

While the president cited the effect of civilian raises on the deficit, administration-backed tax cuts and spending hikes are set to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over ten years, a fact not lost on critics of the pay freeze.

The pay cuts do not apply to the military who will get a 2.6 percent pay raise - the biggest pay raise for the troops in nine years. "Across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases, in particular, have long-term fixed costs, yet fail to address existing pay disparities or target mission critical recruitment and retention goals".