In the midst of a government shutdown that has left nearly 800,000 federal workers without paying jobs, hundreds of senior Trump administration officials are set to receive $10,000 raises, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Those raises are the result of a pay cap for federal employees that Congress failed to renew at the end of 2018. If no legislative action is taken, that cap will expire on Saturday. As a result, many senior officials will receive a hefty raise: Cabinet secretaries will jump from making $199,700 each year to $210,700, and Vice President Mike Pence’s salary will go from $230,700 to $243,500.
Those raises, the Post notes, will “cost taxpayers $300 million over 10 years.” “I suspect the president isn’t aware of the disparity—that political appointees will get a pay raise and no one else will,” John Palguta, a former federal human resources executive, told the Post. “It’s going to be seen as terribly unfair.” Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), the incoming chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, took a stronger tack: “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.”