REPORT: Top Trump Officials Will Get $10,000 Raises on January 5th After Congress Allows Pay Freeze to Lapse

Sounds about par for the course.

The federal government may be partially shut down, but that isn’t stopping hundreds of President Donald Trump’s political appointees from receiving annual raises of about $10,000 a year, according to documents issued by the Office of Personnel Management and experts in federal pay who’ve confirmed Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, top administrators, and Vice President Mike Pence’s raises are scheduled to go into effect beginning January 5.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Cabinet secretaries would be entitled to a $210,700 annual salary from $199,700;
  • Deputy secretaries would be entitled to a $189,600 annual salary from $179,700 (secretaries, deputy directors and other top administrators are also affected);
  • Vice President Pence would be entitled to a $243,500 annual salary from $230,700.

The Office of Personnel Management did not respond to requests for comment nor did the White House. The pay raises are expected to cost taxpayers $300 million over 10 years, according to a Senior Executives Association (SEA) analysis. The government shutdown has affected roughly 800,000 federal employees who have not received paychecks since the shutdown began two weeks ago.

Although the Democrat-led House passed a measure which continues the executive pay freeze as part of an effort to reopen the government, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated he will not pass a bill the president likely won’t sign. SEA’s executive director Jason Briefel called the freeze a “politically driven policy that over time makes it harder to bring good folks to government,” though he acknowledged lifting it “is definitely a slap in the face” to other federal workers.

Many, including Senators Doug Jones (D-AL) and Ed Markey (D-MA) have blasted the move.

The partial government shutdown was kicked off after the president opted not to sign a stopgap funding bill which would have averted a shutdown because he disagreed with Congress over funding for his proposed border wall on our nation’s southern border.

The shutdown is the fourth longest in U.S. history, and there is no end in sight, despite assurances from Democrats that they will pass funding bills as soon as they take office. The inauguration of the 116th Congress today marks the first time ever that a federal shutdown will extend into two different Congresses.

The president’s insistence on blaming Democrats for the shutdown contradicts his own statements. In December, he preemptively accepted ownership of a then-possible shutdown.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” he told Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office on December 11.

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