Lawmakers must decide whether to pass hate crimes legislation, legalize medical marijuana and pass rules to allow sports betting, among other key issues.
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Vice President Mike Pence says he won’t accept a $12,800 pay raise he is poised to receive despite the government shutdown.
A pay freeze for top executive officials is set to expire this weekend unless Congress acts to extend it. But Pence told reporters at the White House Friday that he will not accept it.
Meanwhile, most federal workers aren’t collecting paychecks amid the partial government shutdown. Just days ago President Donald Trump also signed an executive order to freeze most federal workers’ pay at 2018 levels once they start receiving paychecks again.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the pay increase is an “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,” Sanders said. “Congress can easily take care of this by funding the government and securing our borders.”
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Pence and other top officials haven’t received a pay raise since 2010, when former President Barack Obama froze pay for top officials. Since then Congress has continued the freeze.
If Congress doesn’t extend the pay freeze, Pence’s pay would adjust from $230,700 to $243,500, what it would have been had the position received cost-of-living adjustments.
The president’s salary is set at $400,000 and does not receive an annual cost-of-living salary increase. Trump, however, does not accept any pay, as promised during his campaign.
According to a United States Office of Personnel Management memo, the pay freeze ends on the last day of the last pay period that begins in calendar year 2018, or Jan. 5.
USAToday reporter Maureen Groppe contributed to this story.
Call IndyStar Statehouse reporter Kaitlin Lange at 317-432-9270. Follow her on Twitter: @kaitlin_lange.
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