(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and 158 House Democrats today sent a letter to congressional leadership urging them to oppose President Trump’s effort to rescind a modest 1.9 percent pay increase planned for federal workers.

“The federal government has serious business to conduct, and we must block the President’s indefensible attacks on the federal workforce that we count on every day,” the Members wrote. “It is obviously a cruel joke to say that federal workers and their families should suffer in the name of the President’s sudden campaign for fiscal responsibility. The President’s budget-busting tax bill will increase the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion over a decade, giving tax breaks to the wealthy while leaving middle class taxpayers behind. If the President wants to “put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course,” as he claimed in his letter announcing the pay freeze, he should start with his gargantuan deficit-financed tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations, and not the hard-won modest benefits of a federal workforce struggling to do their jobs in this unstable environment.”

Federal workers have repeatedly been asked to sacrifice to reduce the country’s deficit, enduring a three-year pay freeze, suffering furloughs due to sequestration cuts, and weathering the uncertainty of government shutdowns.

“It is hard to think of another group of Americans that has been asked to give more to reduce the national deficit,” the Members observed. “We cannot continue to pretend to balance our budget on the backs of the people who process our Social Security checks, keep our airports secure, fight forest fires, promote public health, and protect our homeland.  It is plainly wrong to tell millions of our fellow Americans that we can afford lavish tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans but not what amounts to a cost-of-living adjustment for the civil servants who keep the government working.”

“The men and women that make up our federal workforce are highly skilled and dedicated public servants who love this country. We cannot continue to demoralize them and denigrate their service while expecting national progress.”

The full letter is available here.

Cosigners of the letter include: Steny Hoyer; Gerald Connolly; Elijah E. Cummings; Eleanor Holmes Norton; Gwen Moore; Joe Crowley; Barbara Lee; Filemon Vela; Jan Schakowsky; Peter Welch; Debbie Wasserman Schultz; David Scott; Sheila Jackson Lee; Thomas R Suozzi; Bonnie Watson Coleman; Debbie Dingell; Jerrold Nadler; Tim Ryan; Ruben J. Kihuen; Michelle Lujan Grisham; Marc Veasey; Gregory W. Meeks; Chellie Pingree; Al Lawson; Paul D. Tonko; Mark Pocan; Diana DeGette; Salud O. Carbajal; Norma J. Torres; Mark DeSaulnier; Mike Thompson; Tom O'Halleran; Juan Vargas; Robert C. "Bobby" Scott; Ed Perlmutter; A. Donald McEachin; Ben Ray Luján; Mark Takano; Brenda L. Lawrence; Albio Sires; Mike Quigley; Donald Norcross; Robert A. Brady; José E. Serrano; Ruben Gallego; Pramila Jayapal; Emanuel Cleaver, II; Linda T. Sánchez; Lloyd Doggett; Mike Doyle; Jared Polis; Betty McCollum; Karen Bass; Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr.; Carolyn B. Maloney; John Yarmuth; Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan; Bill Pascrell, Jr.; John Garamendi; Suzanne Bonamici; Julia Brownley; Matt Cartwright; Marcia L. Fudge; Alan Lowenthal; Derek Kilmer; Frederica S. Wilson; Cedric L. Richmond; Earl Blumenauer; Alcee L. Hastings; C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger; Adriano Espaillat; Wm. Lacy Clay; Brian Higgins; Bradley S. Schneider; Grace Meng; Grace F. Napolitano; Robin L. Kelly; Elizabeth H. Esty; Adam Smith; Jared Huffman; Yvette D. Clarke; Suzan DelBene; James P. McGovern; Eric Swalwell; Scott H. Peters; Conor Lamb; Cheri Bustos; Daniel W. Lipinski; Joseph P. Kennedy, III; Adam B. Schiff; Nita M. Lowey; Denny Heck; Brendan F. Boyle; Bill Foster; Theodore E. Deutch; Judy Chu; Sander M. Levin; Donald M. Payne, Jr.; David E. Price; Gene Green; Lucille Roybal-Allard; Hakeem Jeffries; Bennie G. Thompson; Madeleine Z. Bordallo; Raul Ruiz M.D.; Zoe Lofgren; Dave Loebsack; Bennie G. Thompson; Val Butler Demings; Seth Moulton; Alma S. Adams, Ph.D.; Tulsi Gabbard; Don Beyer; Joe Courtney; John Sarbanes; Steve Cohen; Luis V. Gutiérrez; Anthony Brown; Rosa DeLauro; David Cicilline; Marcy Kaptur; Frank Pallone; Katherine Clark; Keith Ellison; Colleen Hanabusa; Ron Kind; Eliot L. Engel; Richard M. Nolan; Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.; Peter A. DeFazio; James R. Langevin; Anna G. Eshoo; Raúl M. Grijalva; Darren Soto; Danny Davis; Stephen F. Lynch; Jimmy Gomez; Jackie Speier; André Carson; Stacey Plaskett; Lois Frankel; Kathleen M. Rice; Ro Khanna; Dina Titus; Charlie Crist; Stephanie Murphy; Nanette Barragán; John K. Delaney; Brad Sherman; Rick Larsen; Maxine Waters; Jerry McNerney; Lisa Blunt Rochester; Peter J. Visclosky; Daniel T. Kildee; Dwight Evans; Jimmy Panetta; and Tim Walz.

Congressman Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th District, which includes Montgomery, Frederick, and Carroll counties. He is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, a Senior Democratic Whip, and Freshman Representative to the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. He also serves on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Committee on House Administration.  He has been a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years.