GOP Lawmakers Push Back on Trump’s Federal Pay Freeze

GOP Lawmakers Push Back on Trump’s Federal Pay Freeze

REUTERS/Larry Downing

Contradicting a plan announced by President Trump, Republican lawmakers have tentatively agreed to give roughly 2 million federal workers a pay 1.9 percent pay hike next year, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

President Trump said in August that he was canceling a 2.1 percent pay hike for civilian government workers scheduled to take effect in 2019, saying that he was doing so in order “to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course.”

Trump’s announcement was particularly unpopular with lawmakers in states that have large numbers of federal employees, and Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia reportedly played a significant role in striking the pay raise deal.

According to the Post, the average salary for federal workers is about $85,000, but that figure is skewed by a small number of high-paid employees such as doctors. Most government employees earn between $33,000 and $55,000 a year, the Post said, citing figures from the American Federation of Government Employees.

The pay raise agreement would also lift an existing pay freeze on high-level employees and appointees in the Trump administration, including Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet. Democrats, however, are opposed to that part of the deal, and the final details will have to be hammered out by lawmakers after the midterm elections.