Federal agencies told to hold off pay raises


The guidance issued Friday night by Margaret Weichert, the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, stated that the 2018 pay freeze for certain political officials would be "generally applicable in applying the pay freeze in 2019".

The raises would have been triggered due to a pay freeze for top federal officials expiring because of the shutdown. The pay freeze had been enacted by Congress in 2013 for top executives and renewed each year since then. Cabinet secretaries were going to get an $11,000 raise to $210,700.

Vice President Pence is in line for a raise of nearly $13,000 - leaping from $230,700 to $243,500.

Those on the job and not being paid include airline security officers from the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, and others. An administration official later said Pence's staff believes he has to accept the raise during the shutdown and pay taxes on it, but will reimburse the Treasury or donate the pay to charity.

The scheduled raises appeared to be an unintended outcome of the government shutdown, The Associated Press reported.

Dozens of high-ranking officials were supposed to see an increase in their salary, while hundreds of thousands of federal employees and government contractors are unsure when they will see their next paychecks amid the partial government shutdown.

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Without legislation, the pay freeze was set to expire and pay was set to jump automatically. Republicans offered to scrap the executive pay raise in return for agreeing to a 1.9 percent raise for civil servants. Almost 800,000 workers have gone without pay since the shutdown: About 380,000 have been furloughed, and others have continued to work through the shutdown and will be paid when it ends.

The White House and a spokesperson for the vice president did not respond to requests for comment from the Post.

The new Democrat-majority House passed two bills late Thursday that included no funding for the border wall but Senate Republicans said they wouldn't hold a vote since Trump indicated he wouldn't sign the legislation.

After a news conference Friday, Pence nodded "yes" when asked by reporters if he would turn down the pay raise during the shutdown.

Some have been furloughed, with many others are working without pay.

The memo notes the pay freeze would therefore end effectively on Saturday if no legislative action occurs.