President Obama said on Tuesday that a two-year freeze on federal salaries will continue until at least next spring, according to the Associated Press.

Initially enacted in 2010, the ban on federal workers getting raises was touted by Obama as a way to curtail federal spending and slim the nation's deficit. The president's 2013 budget plan had called for a slight 0.5 percent pay raise for civilian federal employees, but Obama reversed course in a Tuesday letter to Congressional leaders.

Obama said the proposed 0.5 percent raise would not take effect until Congress passes a budget. That is unlikely to happen any time soon, as lawmakers recently agreed on a short-term measure to fund the government for the next six months, avoiding a bruising budget fight before the presidential election.

The American Federation of Government Employees issued a statement slamming the decision as "absolutely unwarranted and unjustified."

"Federal employees are the lone Americans who have made any sacrifice whatsoever to deficit reduction," AFGE president J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement. "The well is dry, Mr. President."