Trump freezes federal employee pay

President Trump issued an executive order late Friday freezing the pay of about 1.5 million federal employees next year.

The order follows Trump indicating in August that he would block an automatic 2.1 percent raise for civilian workers who fall under the General Schedule remuneration system from taking effect in January pursuant to the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act if Congress failed to agree on a measure by the end of the year.

Military personnel, however, will earn a 2.6 percent boost in compensation in 2019 provided by the defense spending bill signed in August.

Trump’s move comes amid a partial government shutdown during which 800,000 of approximately 2.1 million federal workers have been furloughed or are being required to work without pay.

But the president’s executive action is reversible if the House and Senate can reconcile bills passed this year. While the House would prefer not to implement the raise, the Senate approved of a 1.9 percent average bump. A Democratic-led House, which will be seated on Jan. 3, may be more open to an increase.

Regardless, Trump on Saturday touted the state of the U.S. economy, quoting Steve Moore, who co-wrote the 2018 Trumponomics book with Arthur Laffer, on social media. In the book, the pair defend the president’s economic policy.

“It was indeed a great year for the American Worker,” Trump tweeted, referring to Moore describing 2018 as “The Year of the Worker.”

2018 is being called “THE YEAR OF THE WORKER” by Steve Moore, co-author of “Trumponomics.” It was indeed a great year for the American Worker with the “best job market in 50 years, and the lowest unemployment rate ever for blacks and Hispanics and all workers. Big wage gains.”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
December 29, 2018

Federal employee pay under the General Schedule was previously frozen in 2012, 2013, and 2014, followed by four years of annual 1-to-2-percent raises. Workers are still eligible for greater compensation through promotion or by moving up pay grades.

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