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Trump signs executive order freezing pay for federal workers in 2019

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President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday that cancels a planned pay increase for federal workers in 2019.

Trump previously called the raise, a 2.1% increase set to take effect in January, “inappropriate” and an unrealistic burden on the federal budget.

The order also cancels a yearly paycheck adjustment calculated in order with the region of the country where workers are posted.

When addressing lawmakers in an August letter, Trump cited his authority to adjust pay for federal employees as he sees appropriate considering “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare.”

Trump said he was pursuing the freeze because of the $25-billion price tag of the raises, though his tax reform bill was calculated to add nearly 10 times the cost of the canceled raises.

The order comes a week after the government entered a partial shutdown that has caused thousands of workers to be furloughed or working without pay.

Read more: Some government contractors could go unpaid even after the shutdown ends

It remains unclear when lawmakers will be able to resolve the shutdown after Trump demanded an agreement that would accommodate a $5-billion wall along the US-Mexico border.

The shutdown does not affect the entire federal government but several major agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

About 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the shutdown. Some 420,000 workers are being forced to work without pay since they are considered “essential” employees. The other 380,000 workers are furloughed, which means they are barred from work and will not receive pay.

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