There's a nice little silver lining for Vice President Mike Pence, the cabinet, and senior administration officials in the government shutdown. While 800,000 federal employees and thousands of people working for the government under contract are going without paychecks, administration folks are getting $10,000 raises.
On January 5, these administrators—cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, administrators—get these pay bumps, ironically, because of the shutdown. The funding bills for the multiple agencies, which former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan refused to bring to the floor, included a pay freeze first enacted in 2013 and renewed every year. When those bills died, so did the pay freeze. So not only do these guys get raises, they get five years' worth of raises starting with the paychecks they get next week.
Cabinet secretaries, for example, would be entitled to a jump in annual salary from $199,700 to $210,700. Deputy secretaries would be entitled to a raise from $179,700 to $189,600. Others affected are under secretaries, deputy directors and other top administrators.
The pay of Pence is scheduled to rise from $230,700 to $243,500.
How nice for them. Neither the White House nor Pence's office had any comment on this for the Washington Post. But the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management are well aware of how bad this is going to look, and in fact have been meeting about the shutdown and this, and have been trying to come up with responses. "It was definitely a 'this is not going to look good' situation,'" one anonymous participant of these meetings said.
Yes, in fact, this is very much a not-a-good-look situation. So not good that maybe someone like Mitch McConnell might want to do something about it. Like take up the House bills that would fix this.