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Pence says he won't accept scheduled pay raise during shutdown

Vice President Pence said Friday he will not accept a scheduled pay raise during the partial government shutdown.

The comments come after The Washington Post reported on Friday that senior White House officials, including Cabinet officials, top administrators and the vice president, would see their pay raise by around $10,000 per year starting on Saturday. 

But Pence, while leaving a press conference led by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE, told reporters he would turn down the raise.

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The Post reported that the raises were the unintended result of the deadlock over government funding. The failure to pass legislation through Congress to fund a handful of government agencies allowed an existing pay freeze to lapse.

Pence's salary was set to rise to $243,500 from its current rate of $230,700 per year, according to The Post, while Cabinet secretaries would see their compensation rise to $210,700 from $199,700 per year. 

“This is another unnecessary byproduct of the shutdown. The Administration is aware of the issue and we’re exploring options to prevent this from being implemented while some federal workers are furloughed. Congress can easily take care of this by funding the government and securing our borders,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The partial government shutdown is in its 14th day as the White House and Democrats have yet to come to an agreement on a spending bill because of differences over funding for a border wall in the country's southern border. 

Trump is demanding $5.6 billion as part of any legislation to fund the government, but House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) have said they would not agree to allocate funds for the wall, though they would provide funds for border security.

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The president said in the Friday press conference that he may call a national emergency to enlist the military in building the border wall. 

Congressional leaders huddled with the president at the White House Friday for the second time this week in a meeting Pelosi called “contentious” and Trump called “productive.” 

Approximately 25 percent of the government shut down on Dec. 22, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, Justice, Interior and State. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have either been furloughed or forced to work without pay.