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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 TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report 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 RyanBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate president Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line Bottom line 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 ComstockFormer GOP congresswoman calls on Republicans to back impeachment 22 retired GOP members of Congress call for Trump's impeachment Former GOP congressman calls for Biden to receive presidential briefings 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.