Trump Teaches Federal Employees to Live Within Their Means
WASHINGTON, DC – August 31, 2018
President Trump on Thursday announced that he would cancel a scheduled 2.1 percent across-the-board pay increase for federal workers, as well as locality pay increases.
"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.
The proposal sets up a fight with Congress, which could effectively overturn the action in upcoming spending legislation.
Trumps’ move wouldn’t affect members of the military, who are on schedule to receive a 2.6 percent pay increase.
Last year, the Trump administration approved a 1.4 percent increase in federal pay and a 2.4 percent increase in military pay.
In the letter, Trump said he had 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 serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare."
The two chambers are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks to work out this theme. Theoretically, they are quite able override Trump's move to cut pay, especially since Trump did not express any intention to veto such a measure if it included a pay increase.
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.