Friday, February 20, 2009

Congress and Its $4700 Pay Raise!

While blasting the CEOs of large corporation for their spending, salaries and perks, Congress is just waiting to receive its $4700 pay raise for the year. Yes, while Americans all across the nation are tightening their belts and living on tight budgets, Congress may receive a pay raise.

In 1989, Congress passed an amendment allowing for the automatic raises, unless lawmakers specifically voted to reject it. Which Congress did, until 2000.

Congress has now voted itself a total of $16,700 in raises over the last six years. Since 1990, congressional pay has increased from $98,400 to $154,700 in 2003. The current Congressional salary is, according to a memo from the Congressional Research Service, $169,300.

There is a House Bill, H.R. 156, that would prevent Congress’ automatic pay hike from taking effect through the end of 2010. If you would like to check on its progress, you can click here. There are several Congressmen who are supporting this bill. (Ron Paul, Harry Mitchell (who is the sponsor of the Bill, Betsy Markey, John Salazar, Mike Coffman just to name a few).

Support the Congressmen who are pushing this bill. Let your Senators know and have them support it as well. If we are to survive the economic downturn, we all (including Congress) need to do our part.

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