In the midst of a partial government shutdown that has hundreds of thousands of federal workers going without pay, hundreds of senior Trump administration officials are poised to receive pay raises of about $10,000 a year, according to The Washington Post — including the vice president.
The pay raises for Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, top administrators and even Vice President Pence are scheduled to go into effect beginning Jan. 5 without legislation to stop them, according to documents issued by the Office of Personnel Management and experts in federal pay.
The raises appear to be an intended consequence of the shutdown: When lawmakers failed to pass bills on Dec. 21 to fund multiple federal agencies, they allowed an existing pay freeze to lapse. Congress enacted a law capping pay for top federal executives in 2013 and renewed it each year. The raises will occur because that cap will expire without legislative action by Saturday, allowing raises that have accumulated over those years but never took effect to kick in, starting with paychecks that will be issued next week.
Pence will see his salary jump from $230,700 to $243,500, the Post said.
Meanwhile, about 800,000 federal employees are still waiting to get paid, having seen their last paychecks before Christmas. Adding insult to injury, President Donald Trump also ordered a pay freeze for the majority of federal employees just before the New Year.
“I suspect the president isn’t aware of the disparity — that political appointees will get a pay raise and no one else will,” said John Palguta, former career executive in the federal government for human resources. “It’s going to be seen as terribly unfair.”
“It looks like Trump has protected his own appointees, and everyone else gets screwed,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), whose Northern Virginia district has 77,000 federal workers, said in an interview. He suggested the president fix the problem by immediately issuing an executive order canceling the raises.