Van Hollen Pushes for Federal Pay Raise

Although President Trump has frozen federal salaries for 2019, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen said Wednesday he will file an amendment to the short-term funding bill providing employees with a 1.9 percent raise.

The bipartisan bill would keep the government open, averting a shutdown and denying Trump the border wall.

Trump can freeze civil servants’ pay unilaterally, although Congress can act.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Van Hollen secured the same pay increase as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support.

In a statement released to the press, Van Hollen said: “Our federal workforce protects our nation, ensures the safety of our food and medicine, delivers Social Security and veterans’ benefits, and carries out countless other responsibilities on behalf of our citizens. But President Trump is poised to give them the gift of a pay freeze if Congress fails to act before the end of the year.”

Van Hollen said he worked with Democrats and Republicans to build support for the raise.

“If we can’t get it done as part of this short-term package, it should be the first order of business when we return,” Van Hollen said.

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