As the partial government shutdown drags into week three with no end in sight, the Washington Post reports that hundreds of senior officials appointed by President Donald Trump including Cabinet officials, top administrators, and even the vice president, are poised to receive their annual raises of close to $10,000 a year.
The Post, citing documents from the Office of Personnel Management and federal pay experts, reported that accumulated pay raises for top officials affected by a longstanding Washington pay freeze will go into effect on Saturday without any legislation to stop it, a seemingly “unintended consequence” of the shutdown.
The Inquisitr reports:
In 2013, the Post reported, Congress enacted a law that put a cap on pay for top federal executives that has been annually renewed ever since, but after lawmakers failed to pass a spending bill on December 21 leading to the partial shutdown, the pay freeze lapsed. This means that enormous raises that have accumulated over the course of the last five years will be added to paychecks issued as early as next week.
As a result, Cabinet secretaries would be entitled to jump from an annual salary of $199,700 to $210,000 while Vice President Pence will see a new annual income of $243,500 versus the $230,700 he had annual earned in the past.
Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the newly-appointed chair of the House Appropriations Committee, called the raises “outrageous” at a time when thousands of federal workers remain furloughed.
“At a time when more than 800,000 federal employees aren’t getting paid, it is absolutely outrageous that the Trump administration would even consider taking advantage of the shutdown to dole out huge raises to the vice president and its political appointees,” she told the Post.
“It looks like Trump has protected his own appointees, and everyone else gets screwed,” added Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) in an interview with the Post.
Trump on Friday threatened to keep the government shutdown for “months or years,” or as long as it takes to get funding for his proposed border wall that he promised to get Mexico to pay for.