Sunday, December 30, 2018

USA: Trump Signs Order to Freeze Pay for Federal Workers Amid Gov Shutdown


US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to freeze pay for federal workers in 2019, carrying out part of a budget proposal he had previously made over the summer.

“We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” the US president said back in August, describing the 2.1% increase set to take effect in January as "inappropriate" and an unrealistic burden on the federal budget.

The order also cancels a yearly paycheck adjustment calculated on the basis of where workers are posted, know as the "locality pay increase.” The measure does not affect a 2.6% pay increase for US troops next year that was passed as part of the massive defence spending bill Trump signed in August.

In his letter to lawmakers written in August, Trump cited his authority to adjust pay for federal employees as he deemed appropriate when considering a "national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare."

Pay raises for federal employees could be discussed as part of the 2019 budget, however, the US government entered a state of the partial shutdown last week as the Senate failed to agree with Trump on the issue of funding for border security.

The shutdown does not affect the entire federal government but does impact several major agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban.

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