Trump Freezes Federal Workers' Pay: What's it Really About?


The Capital was nearly empty last week. The 116th Congress starts Jan 3. Meanwhile, Trump froze federal worker's wages.

On Friday, president Trump issued an Executive Order Freezing the Wages of about 800,000 Federal Workers.

The executive order follows a proposed pay freeze that the president outlined in the budget he sent to Congress last February, and in a letter he sent to Congress in August stating that he would cancel pay increases.

Federal workers may still receive a raise in 2019 if Congress approves it and the president signs it, perhaps as part of legislation to reopen the federal government. But that scenario would require resolving a fight between Democrats in Congress and the president over funding for a border wall, the issue at the heart of the shutdown.

Some union officials representing federal government workers said they expected Congress to pass a nearly 2 percent increase, which the Senate has already done in a bipartisan vote, and the incoming Democratic House appears likely to do.

The executive order affects the pay of roughly two million civilian workers. The pay of military personnel is handled separately and is scheduled to rise by 2.6 percent in 2019 as part of a military spending measure that the president signed this summer.

Under complicated federal pay rules, pay for government employees would have automatically increased by roughly 2 percent in January, with additional raises of considerably more based on workers’ locations, if neither Congress nor the president took action this year.

The Senate passed a 1.9 percent increase, but the House never followed suit, opening the door for the president to act unilaterally on his proposed freeze.

What's It All About?

It would be nice to actually get rid of these bureaucratic jobs instead of just freezing wages.

That's won't happen, and I doubt the freeze lasts either. This is a wall negotiation tactic.

Union officials will gladly accept the wall if they get a pay raise.

Also consider 116th Congress Starts January 3, Big Changes Coming, a Look at the Impacts.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (12)
No. 1-4

Slash 10% of the bloated workforce, 80,000, averaging $80,000 per year. $6.4 billion the first year, build the wall


... but think of the poor lobbyists. How will they feed themselves?


lol,borrowing $2.4 trillion "officially"in fiscal year 2019,record central bank money printing err err "tapering",so what possible difference a 2% increase gonna do ,That's like ordering 2 large meat lovers with a side of fried chiken n biscuits and ordering a diet coke because your're watching your calories!


As Mish points out, this is just a negotiating tactic, and won't last. It isn't what is really needed, anyway. What is needed is a complete elimination of the workplace rules that make it nearly impossible to fire Federal employees, even if they don't bother doing their job.

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