Trump Administration Officials Won’t Get $10K Pay Raises During Government Shutdown
Several top members of President Donald Trump‘s administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, will not receive pay raises while the partial government shutdown continues, it was reported Saturday.
“In the current absence of Congressional guidance,” the Office of Personnel Management “believes it would be prudent for agencies to continue to pay these senior political officials at the frozen rate until appropriations legislation is enacted that would clarify the status of the freeze,” OPM Acting Director Margaret Weichert wrote in a memo. The Washington Post reported late last week that these pay raises for top White House officials were planned to be of up to $10,000.
The shutdown entered its 18th day on Tuesday, and thus far no substantial progress has been made in discussions between Democratic and Republican lawmakers on the issue of border security and the wall. Since the government closed at midnight on Dec. 21 — a deadline by which legislators failed to pass funding bills — approximately 800,000 federal workers have been left without pay.
Those employees will not receive retroactive pay for the duration of the shutdown. Some of these people have reportedly been forced to offer maintenance services like carpentry in exchange for rent payments, and mortgage payments have also been delayed as a result of the shutdown. Judges have also been furloughed and several Transportation Security Administration officials have been calling out sick from work amid fears of not receiving paychecks.
Despite all these consequences, Trump said the shutdown could persist for “months or even years” until Democrats — who control the House of Representatives — promise to provide funding for the “steel barrier” that the president wants built along the U.S. southern border. In the early stages of his 2016 campaign, Trump had said he would make Mexico pay for the wall, although that prospect is now virtually doomed, and the cost will likely fall on American taxpayers. Trump also said he believes many of the workers whose incomes have been affected by the shutdown likely support him and believe the construction of the wall is necessary.
Trump stated in a press conference Friday that he “might consider” asking administration officials to refuse raises. When he turned to Pence, the vice president nodded to say he would refuse the pay bump.