WASHINGTON, DC – President Trump on Thursday August 30th announced he would cancel a scheduled 2.1 percent across-the-board pay increase for federal workers. Trumps proposal can set up a fight with Congress, which could overturn his action.
President Trump has said he has the authority to propose an alternative pay schedule based on Title V of the U.S. Code, which allows the president to alter scheduled pay changes he deems inappropriate in light of “national emergency or economic conditions affecting the general welfare.”
“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,” Trump wrote in a letter to the Speaker of the House and the president of the Senate.
Trump’s 2019 budget proposal sought to freeze federal pay, but the Senate Appropriations Committee included a 1.9 percent pay raise. The House version of the bill did not include such an increase. However, the two chambers are scheduled to meet and could override Trump’s move to cut pay. Without Congrssional intervention, the Presidents action would affect 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. The Presidents initiative does not affect a 2.6 percent pay increase for the military.
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said she was strongly opposed to the President’s request., Comstock said that GOP support for federal workers should extend beyond ICE and homeland security officials.
“Dedicated work is also done by our civilian employees at other national security agencies, the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies, as well as the National Institute of Health where dedicated federal employees search for cures to diseases that drive up the costs of health care everyday,” said Comstock.
“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.