Majority of NoVa Politicians Advocate for Federal Pay Raises

| August 31, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

That Northern Virginia representatives would support federal pay raises is not particularly surprising since it would benefit many of their constituents.

Thus, when President Donald Trump announced Thursday he would like to halt 2019 pay raises for federal employees, senators and congressmen from Northern Virginia and their opponents rushed to released statements , condemning the move. Congressman Rob Wittman of the 10th District, a Republican, was the lone outlier.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA, 10th District) released a statement Thursday, regarding the possible elimination of the federal employee pay raise. In her statement, she criticizes the Obama administration for salary freezes and applauds Republicans who have supported certain federal agencies.

I strongly oppose eliminating the pay raise for civilian federal employees and will work with my colleagues to have the pay raise included in our appropriations. Our public servants have been getting shortchanged for years; including three years of pay freezes under the Obama administration. Republicans recently made a strong statement in the House of Representatives supporting ICE and the work our dedicated homeland security officials do. Dedicated work is also done by our civilian employees at other national security agencies, the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies, as well as the National Institute of Health where dedicated federal employees search for cures to diseases that drive up the costs of health care everyday. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our federal employees and I will work with my House and Senate colleagues to keep the pay increase in our appropriations measures that we vote on in September.

Friday, even Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Corey Stewart reacted to news of President Trump’s plan to cancel scheduled pay increases for federal employees:

“I almost never differ with President Trump, but in this case I do,” Stewart noted. “Federal employees in Virginia wake up early, face punishing traffic and work hard to serve their nation and support their families. These workers need and deserve a pay raise. I encourage President Trump to reconsider his position.”

Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA, 1st District) has yet to release a statement.

Not surprisingly, Democrats in Congress are also advocating for the raises, but in their statements they offer stronger criticism of the president and/or the Republican-led Congress.

Sen. Tim Kaine offered this comment on a Facebook post:

President Trump is trying to deny over a million Americans the pay they’ve earned. Yet again, this President is attacking our hardworking public servants and hurting our ability to hire and keep dedicated workers. It’s insulting to blame these unfair pay cuts on “economic conditions” as President Trump’s policies have lined his own pockets and blown up the debt projections by trillions of dollars.

 While Sen. Mark Warner is critical of both the president and the Republican-controlled Congress:

Let’s be clear: the President’s decision to cancel any pay increase for federal employees is not motivated by a sudden onset of fiscal responsibility. Today’s announcement has nothing to do with making government more cost-efficient – it’s just the latest attack in the Trump Administration’s war on federal employees.

I’ve worked for years in the Senate to reduce duplicative and wasteful spending, and make government more efficient. If President Trump seriously wants to make that a priority, then I’d be happy to work with the White House on that effort. But let’s be honest: the President and his party, which controls both houses of Congress, have had every chance over the last 18 months to get serious about tackling our fiscal challenges. Instead, the President ballooned the deficit by trillions of dollars with a tax giveaway primarily benefitting big business and the wealthiest Americans. I can think of nothing more hypocritical or disingenuous than to turn around and throw hardworking federal employees under the bus on the pretext of fiscal responsibility.

Congress can and must stand up to the President and reject this assault on our federal workers by passing the 1.9 percent pay raise that the Senate approved on August 1.

Jennifer Wexton, Democratic Candidate to represent Virginia’s 10th District in the House of Representative, connected Comstock to the failure to fund the federal pay raises, saying she approved of the new tax bill.

Donald Trump and Barbara Comstock blew a two trillion dollar hole in the federal deficit by giving a tax handout to the wealthiest and big corporations, and now they’re going to pay for it on the backs of federal workers by denying them scheduled pay raises. Not only is this outrageous, but it will directly harm thousands of hardworking VA-10 families who serve our country in the federal workforce. Barbara Comstock has failed her constituents and she should be ashamed.

Vangie Williams, Democratic Candidate for the Virginia’s 1st District in the House, said “this administration’s plan to save 25 billion dollars by cutting pay raises to compensate for a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit is wrong. I’m against tax cuts for the wealthy that burden hard-working Virginians who deserve a raise. #WeDeserveBetter.”

Williams offering a longer statement she called out her opponent, incumbent Rob Wittman, for not issuing a statement against the president’s recommendation.

Rob Wittman’s failure to denounce this harmful move by the Administration is further evidence of his continued failure of leadership for the 1st District. Instead of standing up and fighting for the significant number of hard-working dedicated federal employees in this district, he’s doing what he’s always done – follow orders. It’s clear to me that Wittman cares more about satisfying the leadership of his own party than the well-being of the people in his own district.

© 2018, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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