Senate Blocks Their Own Pay Raise

Early Tuesday morning, the Senate did something most of us never expected. After President Barack Obama approved a pay raise for government officials due to “cost of living,” the Senate moved to block it.

The bill contains a one-sentence provision that would block a scheduled adjustment for representatives and senators that is set to take place when the continuing resolution expires on March 27, according to Truth Dig. Congressional pay has not been increased since 2009, in part because the public considers it ridiculous in a recession and Congress simply doesn’t need the money more than the nation does.

Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, stated on Monday that she planned to make a new law to stop the Congressional salary hike. And anyone watching the national budget talks would likely say it’s about time.

Some Republicans, however, want to go even further and block a majority of federal civilian pay raises, says Roll Call. President Barack Obama issued an executive order last week that would increase pay for civilian employees, which Republicans on both ends of the Capitol find pointless.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a former Budget director clarifies:

“At a time when our country is facing record debt and trillion dollar deficits, the last thing Washington should do is reward itself with a pay increase. I am calling on President Obama to withdraw his recent Executive Order raising federal salaries — including for Members of Congress. Until a long-term deficit reduction agreement is reached, we should not consider increasing the pay for Congress.”

What are they using that money for anyway?

the white house

Pennsylvania GOP Representative Michael G. Fitzpatrick plans to introduce the bill before the fiscal cliff vote Tuesday:

“For the past four years, many private sector workers have seen their salaries reduced and small businesses have tightened their belts to ensure our economy remains afloat in these difficult times, Families are making sacrifices to make ends meet, and Congress must follow their lead.”

Well said, Mike. Well said.