Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pay Raises Frozen For Pence, Cabinet Members Until Shutdown Is Over

Pay Raises Frozen For Pence, Cabinet Members Until Shutdown Is Over

While 800,000 federal workers are now either working without pay or furloughed and not entitled to retroactive pay, President Donald Trump's top appointees as well as Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to get pay raises averaging about $10,000 per year on Saturday-and the shutdown is to blame for the glaring inequity.

Margaret Weichert, the acting director of the OPM, issued a memo Friday evening announcing the pay freeze.

"When lawmakers failed to pass bills on December 21 to fund multiple federal agencies, they allowed an existing pay freeze to lapse", the report explains.

Cabinet secretaries will get a raise from $199,700 to $210,700, while deputy secretaries will go up from $179,700 to $189,600, the Post reported.

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that "if there's no wall, there's no deal" to end the partial government shutdown that's wrapping up its second week, just hours after newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said House Democrats would not give President Donald Trump funding for his border wall.

Those on the job and not being paid include airline security officers from the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, and others.

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"[It] would be prudent for agencies to continue to pay these senior political officials at the frozen rate", Weichert wrote in a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies.

"We have to get a structure built", he said, adding that they are "very firm" on the requested funding number.

House Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) talks to journalists following a meeting with President Donald Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and fellow members of Congress about border security at the White House in Washington on January 2, 2019.

That freeze was enacted through a law passed by Congress in 2013, reported the Washington Times.

But that legislation is said to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will not vote on a Bill the president will not sign.

The pay freeze's expiration was discussed at length during a conference call on Monday with officials at the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management, who are meeting regularly to discuss issues caused by the shutdown. The pay freeze for senior officials, she said, should be extended.

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