Congress: Great job merits a pay increase—-to themselves

Don’t you wish you had that ability? After all, it’s just other people’s money. Yet another reason to See Red.

Despite plummeting approval ratings, Congress is about to gift itself with a robust pay raise, putting aside concerns of inconsistencies with campaign messages of fiscal responsibility. The increase of approximately $4,400 pushes their salaries to nearly $170,000. Nationwide, the average increase hovers at 3%, although not every worker can expect an annual salary increase.

This cost-of-living raise endorsement ensures lawmakers are once again positioned for automatic pay raises. Inter-party bickering last year was responsible for twice decimating the usual increase due this year, resulting in the first termination of the annual Congressional pay raise in seven years.

Last session, Democrats held to campaign tactics to deny further pay increases until Congress raised the minimum wage. The ensuing delays in implementation of that bill cost every lawmaker about $3,100 in salary boosts this past year. In 1989 an ethics bill removed congressional ability to accept honorarium or payment for speeches and guaranteed automatic annual cost-of-living pay increases unless the lawmakers voted otherwise.

By a 244-181 vote, congressional representatives of both parties voted to kill a motion by Reps. Jim Matheson (D – UT) and Lee Terry (R – NE), urging a direct vote to block the COLA, which is automatically given unless lawmakers vote to block it.The pay raise would also apply to the vice president who is President of the Senate, Congressional leaders and Supreme Court justices. Vice President Dick Cheney, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chief Justice John Roberts receive yearly compensation of $212,100. The salary of Associate Justices is $203,000. House and Senate party leaders are paid $183,500.

June 13, 2007 Rasmussen Report polling data indicated only 19% of American voters believe that congress is doing a good or an excellent job. That’s down from 26% the previous month.

This is how your Arizona delegation voted:

Yea: Shadegg, Pastor, Grijalva
Nay: Renzi, Franks, Mitchell, Flake, Giffords

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One Response to Congress: Great job merits a pay increase—-to themselves

  1. Cd1234567891 says:

    (IMO) it is fiscal irresponsibility to increase Congress’ pay at a time when the US Government is spending billions and billions of dollars on war, and has a stratospheric budget deficit.

    The battle is not over. The Senate also has to act. Further, on 6/29/07, U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell [D, Arizona] introduced legislation that would block the automatic pay raise (bill number not yet assigned).

    The House voting record in favor of no debate on the automatic pay raise (H.Res.517) can be found at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll580.xml .

    Email your House representative and Senators to let them know:

    No more pay increases for Congress until the War is OVER.