Trump cancels planned pay raises for most federal employees

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has told Congress he is canceling a pay raise that most civilian federal employees were due to receive in January, citing budgetary constraints.

Trump informed House and Senate leaders in a letter sent Thursday.

Trump says in the letter that locality pay increases would cost $25 billion, which he described as “inappropriate,” on top of a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for most civilian government employees.

He cites the costs and says: “We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.”

Trump says he’s determined that for 2019 “both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero.”

He stressed the change wouldn’t affect the federal government’s ability to attract qualified workers, and wrote the government would focus on “recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets.”