- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2017

President Trump has used his executive authority to give uniformed service members and federal civilian employees a pay raise next year, notifying Congress of the move in two letters Thursday.

In line with his budget proposal, Mr. Trump designated a 2.1 percent pay hike for members of the military and 1.9 percent for the federal civilian workers.

The pay increases take effect Jan. 1.

“I strongly support our men and women in uniform, who are the greatest fighting force in the world and the guardians of American freedom. As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, we must work to rebuild our military’s readiness and capabilities,” Mr. Trump said of the military raises in the letter to congressional leaders.

The size of the rase for the government’s civilian employees was less than what was called for under current law, which would have doled out a 26.16 percent increase in locality pay.

“Under current law, in addition to a 1.9 percent across-the-board increase for the base General Schedule, locality pay increases averaging 26.16 percent and costing $26 billion would go into effect in January 2018,” he wrote. “A pay increase of this magnitude is not warranted, and Federal agency budgets could not accommodate such an increase while still maintaining support for key Federal priorities such as those that advance the safety and security of the American people.”

Mr. Trump ordered that most federal workers would receive a 1.4 percent raise and an additional 0.5 percent adjustment in locality pay for a total of 1.9 percent.

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