On Friday evening, Donald Trump issued a pay freeze for federal employees in 2019 amid a government shutdown that has left hundreds of workers on unpaid leave or furloughed.
The scheduled pay bump would have instituted a 2.1% pay increase across the board and was set to take effect in January. Military personnel are still expected to receive a 2.6% raise, which Trump signed in August as part of a massive defense spending bill.
Trump's executive order came after he issued a proposal earlier this year which claimed the federal budget couldn't sustain a pay increase for civilian workers, calling the decision "inappropriate."
Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, criticized the move, saying the president's decision is "pouring salt on the wound." He went on to condemn the president's decision in light of the current government shutdown. “It is shocking that federal employees are taking yet another financial hit. As if missed paychecks and working without pay were not enough, now they have been told that they don’t even deserve a modest pay increase.”
Congress could re-institute a pay increase in 2019 to reopen the government. However, negotiations have stalled given the debate over Trump's border wall.
In his latest tweetstorm, the president took to Twitter on Saturday to denounce Democrats over their refusal to allocate funding towards Trump's border wall. The day after he issued his executive order, he quoted Steve Moore calling 2018 "The Year of the Worker."