Trump says he will 'take a look' at increases for federal workers

Trump says he will 'take a look' at increases for federal workers
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE on Friday appeared to allude to calls from federal workers for a pay increase, saying he would study "any increase" for federal workers over the Labor Day weekend.

"I’m going to be doing a little work over the weekend," Trump told assembled guests at a ceremony in North Carolina marking the signing of an executive order extending benefits of retirement savings accounts.

"I’m going to be studying, you know, the federal workers in Washington that you’ve been reading so much about. People don’t want to give them any increase. They haven’t had one in a long time," Trump said.

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"I said, I’m going to study that over the weekend. It’s a good time to study it -- Labor Day. Let’s see how they do next week. But a lot of people were against it. I’m going to take a good hard look over the weekend," he added, according to a White House transcript.

Trump's remarks came a day after he announced in a letter to House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanUnscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate president Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (R-Utah) that he would cancel a planned 2.1 percent raise for federal workers.

The president said that "federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets."

The Trump administration previously approved a 1.4 percent increase in federal pay and 2.6 percent raise in military pay in 2017.

Trump's move Thursday was sharply criticized by Democrats and some Republicans, including Virginia Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockGOP lawmaker introduces bill to stop revolving door Ex-lawmakers face new scrutiny over lobbying Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign MORE, a vulnerable Republican running for reelection this November who represents a district where many federal workers reside.

"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,” Comstock said Thursday.