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 TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE, told reporters he would turn down the raise.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 PelosiLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHealth care workers account for 20 percent of Iowa coronavirus cases Pressure mounts on Congress for quick action with next coronavirus bill Schumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House MORE (D-N.Y.) have said they would not agree to allocate funds for the wall, though they would provide funds for border security.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.