White House Rejects Pay Increases For Federal Employees — Including Trump-Endorsing Border Agents

Published: Friday, August 31, 2018 - 3:46pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 8:34am

President Donald Trump told lawmakers Thursday that he was freezing pay increases for federal civilian employees. That includes federal law enforcement agents. And they include the prominent law enforcement union that helped him win election: the Border Patrol’s vocal National Border Patrol Council. That union has said nothing about the pay freeze.

George McCubbin is national vice president of the even larger American Federation of Government Employees in the western part of the U.S. The union represents 12,000 Customs and Border Protection employees.

"They’re just saying that they’re going to receive a paycheck. So to me they seem okay that they’re going to get a pay freeze which is just kind of odd to me," McCubbin, himself a retired Border Patrol agent, said.

"I’m a little troubled by it because they’re very public of their endorsement and they’re proud of it and there’s nothing wrong with that. But in return, this is what the president is giving them, which is zero for their support. This is his way of saying thank you."

Chris Cabrera is the National Border Patrol Council's spokesman. He said Friday morning that he didn't think the pay freeze would apply to first responders. McCubbin said it applies to not only the Border Patrol but to Office of Field Operations officers, the nation's port inspectors and to Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees. The union representing the nation's port inspectors also criticized the pay freeze.

Several million federal employees will lose not only a 2 percent pay increase, but local cost of living increases. Congress can still override Trump.

In its 2016 endorsement of Trump, the union stated: "We need a person in the White House who doesn't fear the media, who doesn't embrace political correctness, who doesn't need the money, who is familiar with success, who won't bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and not subservient to the interests of other nations. Donald Trump is such a man."

It was the first time the union had ever endorsed a presidential candidate.

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