Trump officials to get $10,000 raises as federal workers struggle to make ends meet during shutdown
Senior political appointees in the Trump administration are set to receive annual raises of roughly $10,000 — while hundreds of thousands of federal workers impacted by the ongoing government shutdown go without paychecks.
Vice President Pence, cabinet secretaries and their deputies are slated to see a bump in their next payslip thanks to the expiration of a salary freeze that began in 2013, the Washington Post first reported Friday.
A measure keeping the cap in place was included in spending legislation that passed by Democrats on Thursday, but Trump and Republicans in the Senate have said that they will not back those bills.
Cabinet secretaries will receive a jump in annual salary from $199,700 to $210,700 while their deputies would be entitled to a raise from $179,700 to $189,600, should legislation continuing the cap not get passed and signed before Saturday, the Post reported.
Pence’s pay will jump from $230,700 to $243,500.
The bonuses for top tier Trump officials comes days after the President issued an executive order effectively freezing pay for rank-and-file federal employees at current levels. Federal workers were meant to received a meager 2.1% bump before Trump nixed the increase.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who took over as chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, blasted the administration and called on the Republican-led Senate to take a vote on the spending bills.
“At a time when more than 800,000 federal employees aren’t getting paid, it is absolutely outrageous that the Trump administration would even consider taking advantage of the shutdown to dole out huge raises to the Vice President and its political appointees,” she said in a statement. “To reopen the government and to block these lavish raises, the Senate should pass our bill without delay.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The government shutdown began on Dec. 22, tossing government workers’ lives into chaos over the holidays with 380,000 workers on furlough and 420,000 working without pay.
Trump and Democrats remain in a stalemate over paying for a proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as the shutdown spilled into a 14th day on Friday.
Congressional leaders including Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Republican Minority leader Kevin McCarthy were meeting with Trump at the White House Friday to discuss the impasse.