President Trump cancels pay raises for federal employees set for January

President Trump rebuked for canceling pay raises for federal workers while slashing taxes for the rich

The White House 2019 budget plan released in February was the latest attempt to tie federal workers' pay to performance evaluations.

In ordering the raises canceled, Trump cited his statutory authority to adjust pay because of "national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare". Those increases would come on top of a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for most civilian employees. Trump has touted the military pay bump, which was authorized by a giant $716 billion defense bill he signed earlier this month.

Congress does have the option to override Trump's freeze on federal raises. "The news from the Financial Markets is better still than anticipated", Trump tweeted just hours before announcing the pay freeze.

Trump is not anxious about the effect of freezing federal pay on the government's ability to be successful in "recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets".

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"We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases", Mr. Trump wrote.

The Democratic National Committee described Trump's letter as "yet another slap in the face to American workers" by the president, while Sen. This proposal included substantial cuts to retirement funds.

Trump's decision does not affect pay for military personnel; instead, US troops are due a 2.6 percent pay increase next year. The national debt - the accumulation of those budget deficits - has increased almost $1.6 trillion over the past year, to $21.4 trillion. "We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases". In addition, a yearly adjustment of paychecks based on the region of the country where a worker is posted - the "locality pay increase" - was due to take effect. This newfound concern for the fiscal prudence is impossible to credit, given Trump's willingness to create massive deficits and determination to waste money on pet projects like his border wall. "These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well qualified Federal workforce".

"As noted in my budget for fiscal year 2019, the cost of employing the federal workforce is significant", he wrote. "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".

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