Senior officials within the Trump administration are getting a significant pay raise this week, while hundreds of thousands of federal workers are eagerly waiting to get back to work.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Vice President Pence, and all of Trump’s cabinet secretaries along with their deputy secretaries and other senior agency officials will get a raise of approximately $10,000/year. According to the Post, the pay raise is due to a lapse in a current pay freeze that Congress didn’t address after the federal government shutdown officially began in late December.
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 to kick in that have accumulated over those years but never took effect, starting with paychecks that will be issued next week.
Cabinet secretaries, for example, would be entitled to a jump in annual salary from $199,700 to $210,700. Deputy secretaries would be entitled to a raise from $179,700 to $189,600. Others affected are under secretaries, deputy directors and other top administrators.
The pay of Pence is scheduled to rise from $230,700 to $243,500.
These pay increases are taking effect as the partial federal government shutdown enters its third week. While some agencies, like the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, were already previously funded with other bills, the shutdown has closed down essentially all operations at numerous agencies.
One of the entities affected by the shutdown is the office within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that oversees nutrition assistance, meaning the approximately eight million Americans depending on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) — most of whom are children under the age of one — won’t be able to afford food.
Other agencies that are closed during the shutdown include the Departments of Treasury, Homeland Security, Justice, Interior, State, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, and Transportation.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.