President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race 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.
"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 RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate president Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchCongress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears The national action imperative to achieve 30 by 30 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 ComstockSunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect The Memo: Trump pours gas on tribalism with Jan. 6 rewrite Former GOP rep calls on party to move on from 'patron saint of sore losers' Trump 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.