Federal agencies told to hold off pay raises

Mike Pence and others get sweetheart pay raises while Trump stiffs federal workers report

Mike Pence and others get sweetheart pay raises while Trump stiffs federal workers report

The raises were supposed to go into effect on Saturday, with some officials seeing a raise of roughly $10,000 a year, the New York Times reported. The raises start with paychecks to be issued next week. Cabinet secretaries were entitled to a jump in annual salary from $199,700 to $210,700. Deputy secretaries would be entitled to a raise from $179,700 to $189,600.

Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries and ambassadors were set to see pay increases.

Pence himself will now reportedly be making $243,500 a year, up from $230,700. It also came after The Washington Post reported the potential raises. Pence said ahead of the meeting.

Jared Kushner, Mr Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser, also attended the meeting at the White House, along with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and new White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

Asked at his news conference Friday if he would freeze the raises during the shutdown, President Donald Trump said he "might consider that". "That's a very good question". She had said the administration was "exploring options to prevent this from being implemented while some federal workers are furloughed".

"Congress can easily take care of this by funding the government and securing our borders".

Now in the 14 day of the government shutdown, with no end in sight, many federal employees are growing increasingly concerned about finances and budgeting carefully-many are even filing for unemployment benefits to tide them over as they approach their first missed paycheck.

The White House and a spokesperson for the vice president did not respond to requests for comment from the Post. Trump is demanding billions of dollars for his long-promised wall along the southern border. The House and Senate passed a new stopgap funding bill without the funding he sought by December 21, but the president refused to sign the legislation.

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Pence called the discussion "productive", though he did not provide details of those discussions.

"It was definitely a "this is not going to look good" situation, '" the participant said.

"[It] would be prudent for agencies to continue to pay these senior political officials at the frozen rate", Weichert wrote in a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies. But he acknowledged lifting it now "is definitely a slap in the face" to the rest of the federal workforce.

The shutdown has left the Smithsonian museums, a major tourist draw, shuttered, garbage piling up at national parks, and workers concerned about paying their bills.

Meanwhile, almost 800,000 federal employees are in unpaid limbo, about 380,000 of them having been furloughed, as others continue to work without pay. "Leadership is about the principle that 'officers eat last.' The administration should make sure that the rank and file receive a pay adjustment before their bosses do". With some agencies unstaffed during the partial government shutdown, some executives will earn larger wages right away while others will have to wait for the government to reopen.

Last month, Congress failed to extend the pay freeze on the raises, which would have ended effectively on Saturday and let the increases kick in.

President Donald Trump prudently stayed in Washington, D.C., over the holidays while he forced the federal government to shut down, knowing that the optics of his planned trip to Mar-a-Lago would have been bad. He suggested the president fix the problem by immediately issuing an executive order canceling the raises.

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