As 2017 drew to a close, by way of an executive order, President Donald Trump mandated the largest pay increase for military service members since 2010, along with an increase for federal employees. The pay hikes went into effect on January 1 and are reportedly in line with private sector wage growth.
Trump’s initial budget included a 2.1% increase for US military personnel, though Congress suggested a 2.4% pay rise, which was ultimately adopted by the president. Additionally, federal workers were set to see their wages rise by 1.9% based on the mandate.
The increase exceeds the amount issued in 2017 by the Obama administration, where the pay raise was set at 2.1%. In 2010, military service member wages were raised by 3.4%, according to a report by Fox News.
While the raises were signed into law in December, when Trump approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), how the act will be funded is still up for debate, as it exceeds the defense sequester cap.
Congress is still working toward passing a budget and, if one isn’t approved by midnight on Friday, a government shutdown will occur. This would lead to both military and civilian personnel to likely not receive their new paychecks until a budget is in place.
At this time, the government is functioning based on a temporary continuing resolution (CR), avoiding a government shutdown that would have otherwise occurred on December 21. The CR allows operations to continue based on the funding levels that were outlined in the fiscal year 2017 budget.
On Monday, Trump tweeted, “Honestly, I don’t think the Democrats want to make a deal. They talk about DACA, but they don’t want help. We are ready, willing and able to make a deal but they don’t want to. They don’t want security at the border, they don’t want to stop drugs, they want to take money away from our military which we cannot do.”
Democrats have been seeking protections for young people who were originally brought into the US illegally while they were children, a group that has been dubbed “Dreamers,” as part of the negotiation. Republicans and Democrats also have different views regarding proposed spending levels, including spending on enhanced border security, leading the debate regarding the budget to continue.
Should a shutdown occur, all nonemergency functions would cease beginning at 12:01 am on Saturday.