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Senator Tries to Eliminate Automatic Pay Increases

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dtotire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:44 AM
Original message
Senator Tries to Eliminate Automatic Pay Increases


*
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: March 6, 2009

Filed at 5:38 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Members of Congress would lose their annual cost-of-living pay raises under a proposal that's headed for a vote in the Senate next week.

The move, by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., would require Congress to vote itself pay raises rather than get them automatically under a two-decades-old ethics bill that gave the annual raises, known as a cost-of-living adjustment or COLA, but required lawmakers to give up paid speeches called honoraria.

Vitter, who faces a potentially difficult re-election next year, has seized a potent issue with voters. But he's not winning any popularity contests with his colleagues.

''In this tough economy when many people are making sacrifices, it's time that the Congress quit ... trying to quietly give itself a raise,'' Vitter said in a statement.

His move has put congressional leaders, who generally support the system, in a difficult spot. If he's successful, a pay system that has had solid backing from leaders in both parties -- GOP icon Newt Gingrich was a key supporter back in 1989 -- will be in shambles.

Most members support the pay raise as a means of retaining experienced lawmakers and of making sure that Congress is not simply dominated by wealthy people. Many lawmakers maintain homes both in the expensive Washington housing market and back in their districts. On most days, they meet with lobbyists making far more than they do.

Lawmakers have already opted against taking the raise that they're due next Jan. 1 -- the first day of an election year -- adding language to an omnibus spending bill pending in the Senate to turn off the COLA for 2010. Vitter's amendment would turn it off permanently, but is expected to be defeated on a bipartisan vote.

Lawmakers are going ahead and pocketing the $5,000 salary increase they got at the beginning of this year to raise their salaries to $174,000.

Vitter's amendment is getting a vote after Republicans Thursday night successfully blocked a Democratic effort to close debate on the omnibus bill. Republicans were unhappy that they were only allowed to offer a handful of amendments.

On most years, a vote on the the COLA comes on an obscure procedural move -- instead of a direct up-or-down vote -- and Democratic and GOP leaders each have delivered a majority of their members to shut off the move to block the pay hike.

But fewer and fewer ''old school'' members remain in Congress and the increasingly bitter partisanship has eroded a truce that used to exist between the parties on the issue. House Democrats used the issue when taking control in the 2006 elections by running ads against those who support the system.



http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/03/06/washington/A...



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dtotire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. I support Vitter on this one n/t
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mbperrin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. Hmmm...Congress supports pay cuts for auto workers, but doesn't
have the balls to vote themselves a pay raise, so sneak around in the dark to do it?

Actually, every member who is complicit in the looting of this country over the last 30 years should work for a dollar a year.

If they can't steal enough to live on, fuck 'em.
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. they got pay raises while not allowing minimum wage to increase
they are out of touch with living on small salaries - no more pay raises
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
4. While I agree congresscritters get overpaid and need pay freezes, I have a question:
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 10:03 AM by Deja Q
How will David continue to afford his diapers?

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old guy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
5. Political grandstanding.
He knows very well this will go nowhere, but hopes to score some points for his campaign. Yawn.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 04:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. OLD GUY NAILS IT
he's still the same fucked-up repuke he's always been
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Edith Ann Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. raises
Who cares as long as he stops raises. Next we need to stop health care for these elected officials. We elect them to work for us and they get a pay check. Let them buy their own health insurance. Especially the Repugs, who think health care is a privilege. I bet costs would come down then.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. the point is, he WON'T stop them and HE KNOWS IT
he's just trying to score points - it's grandstanding
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
6. While we're at it can we get rid of socialist pensions and health care for them?
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Edith Ann Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Entitlement.
It's Ok, they are entitled. God said they could steal just not the poor, sick, eldery, or democrats. There is no more entitled group than the group who just stole us blind. They put welfare recipients to shame. I take 25.00 from a 7-11 and go to jail for 25 years. These people get a free ride.
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wackywaggin Donating Member (243 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sucking off the Federal Government tit!!

It is truely amazing that these elected officials make the money they do. There wages should be no greater than the pay of the average American. Around 40,000.00 per year. I would also like to know how much money each legislator lost in the stock market as I have heard little or nothing about any legislator losing money in the stochk market or in any of the scandals. I guess they all "timed" the market right.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. Congresspeople should make the median national income
That would get them thinking about wages again finally.
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