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The Latest Federal agencies told to hold off pay raises

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Vice President Mike Pence with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in December

Federal agencies have been directed to hold off enacting pay raises for top administration officials during a government shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers without pay.

The raises - an additional $10,000 a year - were set to go into effect because a pay freeze for top federal officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and cabinet secretaries, was reportedly due to expire Saturday, January 5. In fact, in a meeting with congressional leaders right before the press conference, he cursed a lot, The Washington Post reports: "The president often used profanity during the meeting, apologizing to Pelosi at one point for cursing so much, according to [an unnamed "official familiar with the exchange"]". Under the provision, high-ranking officials would have their pay rates frozen, even though the federal schedule of pay raises would increase. She had said the administration was "exploring options to prevent this from being implemented while some federal workers are furloughed". Congress enacted a law capping pay for top federal executives in 2013 and renewed it each year. Pence said ahead of the meeting.

Appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight, the vice president reiterated what has been the Trump's administration stance on border wall funding for the past 13 days during which the Federal government has been shutdown.

While the United States military and other major agencies are still fully funded, the impasse has left 800,000 government workers from other departments furloughed or working without pay.

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The newly Democrat-controlled House is refusing to add the funding into its legislation.

The White House and a spokesperson for the vice president did not respond to requests for comment from the Post. But that legislation is said to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he will not vote on a bill the president will not sign.

"We're not doing a wall", the California Democrat said emphatically. "We reaffirmed @POTUS' commitment to secure the border, build the wall, keep Americans safe & reopen gov't".

On social media, critics were incensed Friday at the hypocrisy of cabinet members collecting raises while employees go without any pay at all.

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