In a notice to Congress Thursday, Trump cited "serious economic conditions" in cutting pay to civilian workers. Trump also stated the pay increase would amount to over $25 billion, which he called "inappropriate".
Trump put the cost of the raises associated with high-cost areas at $25 billion.
Congress has an opportunity to effectively overrule the President's edict if lawmakers pass a spending bill that includes a federal pay raise.
That measure, along with increased spending under a new two-year federal budget and tax cuts enacted at the end of last year, have led to accusations Trump is ignoring the federal deficit, despite promising he would address it as president.
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"In light of our nation's fiscal situation, federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing federal employees and those with critical skill sets", he said.
"We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases", Trump wrote before announcing that for 2019, "both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero".
"Trump has delivered yet another slap in the face to American workers", said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.
The Trump administration proposed $143.5 billion in cuts to federal employee compensation in May, including substantial decreases in retirement funding.
"We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets can not sustain such increases", he said.
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Specifically, I have determined that for 2019, both across the board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero.
He said the 1.9 percent pay increase would "help prevent workers from falling further behind next year and help federal agencies recruit and retain the high-caliber workforce that the public expects and deserves". This newfound concern for the fiscal prudence is impossible to credit, given Trump's willingness to create massive deficits and determination to waste money on pet projects like his border wall.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the budget deficit will surpass $1 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year.
The adjustments described above shall take effect on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2019.
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