Trump Ends 2018 by Freezing Federal Workers' 2019 Pay

Congress could take up the issue in January
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2018 6:05 AM CST
In this Dec. 13, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – In August President Trump said he planned to freeze federal employee pay in 2019 due to "serious economic conditions," reports USA Today. That has come to pass. The president on Friday signed an executive order establishing what will be the first pay freeze for civilian federal workers (the military is exempt) since then-President Obama put one into place from 2011 to 2013; the Hill reports these workers saw a 1.4% bump in 2018. The Washington Post reports the executive order, which impacts about 2.1 million workers, may not be the final word on the issue, though.

The Senate passed a 1.9% increase for 2019 but the House took no action. It's possible when Congress returns Jan. 3 the issue will be taken up. There is some precedent for paying raises retroactively if Congress can't come to an agreement before Jan. 6, when a 2019 raise would officially take effect. Trump would need to sign the legislation. The timing of the move hasn't gone unnoticed by Tony Reardon, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union. "This is just pouring salt into the wound," he said in reference to the partial government shutdown. "As if missed paychecks and working without pay were not enough, now they have been told that they don't even deserve a modest pay increase." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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