Lawmakers Express Opposition to the Pay Freeze

Several lawmakers have expressed their opposition to the proposed 2019 pay freeze and are working to implement a pay raise instead.

Several lawmakers in Congressional districts that represent federal employees have spoken out against the proposed pay freeze for next year.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) sent a letter to President Trump shortly after he announced his intent to freeze federal workers’ pay in 2019. She asked for the pay freeze to be rescinded, stating that federal employees have been “shortchanged for years,” noting in part the three years of pay freezes that recently took place under the Obama administration.

Comstock also said in a press release that she was taking other actions as well, noting that she had been working with the Chairman and Subcommittee Chairman of Appropriations in the House, to make sure that the monthly appropriations process will maintain the pay raise and said they were supportive of doing so.

She said that federal employees should receive similar treatment as the military with respect to a pay raise, noting that Congress had already provided the largest pay increase to the military in almost a decade.

Comstock also added, “As of this date [September 8], we have been informed that the President is reportedly reconsidering this decision [to freeze pay]. I will continue to work with my colleagues as we build a coalition to restore a deserved pay increase for our dedicated civil servants and update you on our progress.”

Another group of lawmakers sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to oppose the pay freeze. The letter calls for passing the 1.9% pay raise that was included in a Senate spending bill which could still potentially become the pay raise for next year if the House were to approve it and President Trump were to sign the spending bill into law.

And in yet another letter sent shortly thereafter, 159 Democrats urged Congressional leaders to reject the proposed pay freeze and enact the 1.9% pay increase.

After announcing his desire to freeze federal workers’ pay in 2019, President Trump hinted that he might be reconsidering the matter but so far no further announcements have been made.

It is thus far still not certain whether the pay freeze will ultimately prevail next year or not. We will continue to keep you updated on any further developments.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.