Pay raises for Congress? No dice in election year
WASHINGTON – The Senate has passed a bill to deny members of Congress their annual pay raise next year.
Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold engineered surprise passage of the legislation, which would deny senators and members of the House an automatic pay raise of about $1,600 next year. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year, and leaders make more.
The Senate passed the measure unanimously without a roll call vote. The House has yet to act on it, but probably will go along given election-year pressures.
Lawmakers receive an automatic cost-of-living pay hike unless they pass legislation to block it – as they did last year. The last time lawmakers opted to take the pay hike was in 2008, which meant they received a $5,000 raise last January.