- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence said Friday he won’t accept a $12,800 pay raise, and President Trump will consider asking other top administration officials to reject similar salary hikes resulting from a legislative loophole with the government shutdown.

At the end of a Rose Garden press conference, Mr. Pence told reporters he would reject the pay increase. He said his office would issue a statement later.

The vice president’s salary is scheduled to rise from $230,700 to $243,500 as an ironic result of the shutdown, which has caused 450,000 federal employees to work without pay. Another 380,000 workers have been forced on furlough.

Hundreds of senior Trump political appointees are to receive raises of about $10,000 a year starting Saturday, due to an existing pay freeze that lapsed when lawmakers failed to pass bills Dec. 21 to keep the government open.

In 2013, Congress enacted a law capping pay for top federal officeholders, and renewed the cap annually.

Without the legislation freezing salaries, Cabinet secretaries would be entitled to a raise from $199,700 to $210,700.

The president told reporters he would consider asking all top officials to forgo the pay increase.

“I might consider that,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s a very good question.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the salary hike “is another unnecessary byproduct of the shutdown.”

“The administration is aware of the issue and we’re exploring options to prevent this from being implemented while some federal workers are furloughed,” she said. “Congress can easily take care of this by funding the government and securing our borders.”

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