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 TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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 RyanDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage How does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate president Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Judiciary Dems say GOP treating Kavanaugh accuser worse than Anita Hill 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 ComstockDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage Millionaires group endorses Dem House candidates opposed to GOP tax law Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls 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.