WASHINGTON– Vice President Mike Pence and senior political aides may see their paychecks go up soon if Congress does not pass legislation that would extend a pay freeze for those officials, according to documents from the Office of Personnel Management.
“Unless extended by new legislation, the pay freeze will end on the last day of the last pay period that begins in calendar year 2018,” Margaret Weichert, the agency’s acting director, wrote in a memo last week.
The memo notes the pay freeze would therefore end effectively on Saturday if no legislative action occurs.
President Donald Trump was asked during a news conference Friday afternoon if he would ask his Cabinet members, vice president and other senior administration officials who are due to receive the raise not to accept it because of the shutdown.
“Well, I might consider that. That’s something I might consider,” he said.
Pence nodded “yes” to reporters when he was asked at that news conference if he would turn down the potential pay raise during the shutdown.
The cap on salaries for some senior political officials was extended in March 2018, and a memo issued the following month by the Office of Personnel Management said Congress would need to act before January 5, 2019, in order to keep the freeze in place. That means the administration and lawmakers knew for months that this deadline was approaching.
The Washington Post first reported these impending raises for top officials.
The raises are set to come as roughly 800,000 federal workers wait to see when they will next have a paycheck. They also come days after the President issued an executive order freezing federal workers’ pay for 2019.