President Donald Trump signed an executive order March 28 authorizing the implementation of an across-the-board federal pay raise, over a month after Congress formally enacted the 1.9 percent increase through government appropriations legislation.

Federal employee groups were critical of the White House’s seemingly slow response to the authorized raise, though Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, said that the delay was due to legal processes and not a policy issue.

“Finally. It’s simply inexcusable and yet another example of the Trump administration’s disregard for federal workers that this pay raise that we fought so hard for took so long to implement,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., in a statement.

Trump initially proposed freezing federal pay at the previous year’s rates for 2019 and signed an executive order to ensure just that at the end of December 2018.

Congressional legislation, however, supersedes such an order.

Trump has proposed a pay freeze once again for 2020, with administration officials arguing that such action would help federal agencies realign pay based on performance rather than length of service.

The raise applies to the first applicable pay period beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019. It is now up to the Office of Personnel Management to instruct federal agencies on how to implement the new pay tables.