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Top Trump officials are about to get a $10K raise while federal employees work without pay during the shutdown

Some Cabinet members already have an estimated net worth of hundreds of millions

by Emma Ockerman
Jan 4 2019, 7:32pm

Some of D.C.’s top brass — including Vice President Mike Pence — are about to have about $10,000 added to their salaries, as more than 800,000 federal employees struggle to get paid during the extended partial government shutdown.

Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, and federal administrators in the Trump administration will receive thousands of dollars in raises beginning Jan. 5, according to the Washington Post, potentially as an unintended consequence of the federal shutdown that’s troubled so many regular workers.

Since 2013, Congress has passed laws capping pay for top federal executives at a certain level, but the cap expires Saturday unless Congress moves to extend it. Without the cap, all of the raises that have accumulated over the last five years will go into effect.

Pence would see his salary rise from $230,700 to $243,500, according to the Post. Cabinet secretaries, meanwhile, will see salaries of $210,700, rather than $199,700. Some Cabinet members, like Secretary of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, already have an estimated net worth of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Since the shutdown began two weeks ago over Trump’s demand for at least $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall, some government workers have publicly said they can’t make rent, pay bills, or buy food. The Trump administration has suggested those workers offer to pay for things in manual labor until their paychecks come in.

The Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management know that doesn’t look good, anonymous sources told the Post. During a conference call Monday, officials with those agencies reportedly worried about the public’s perception of the pay raises.

The pay raises also follow President Donald Trump’s executive order to freeze federal workers’ pay in 2019 and deny them a 2.1 percent raise. Trump has argued the federal budget can’t support those raises.

Cover image: Vice President Mike Pence, left, walks with acting-White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, as they arrive at the Capitol as Congress resumes talks on funding without a compromise over money for President Donald Trump's promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)