The long-standing notion of pay raises being frozen for members of Congress and their aides may be coming to an end very soon. For over a decade Congressional leaders and their aides have declined pay raises and even a cost of living increase.
This was done years ago at a time when people were scrutinizing the motives of lawmakers when they were seeking to serve their country and the people they would represent.
It does seem a little confusing when the ones that control the money of the country decide to give themselves raises. To some, it is self-serving to the point that mistrust and accusations can start to fly if the matter is not handled appropriately.
This past week, leading lawmakers decided that they would provide a cost of living increase for everyone by adding $4,500 to salaries in the coming year. For the past 10 years, there has been no raise provided for people that serve their country and must maintain two living venues while in office.
For some that help behind the scenes, it has been pointed out that they have a hard time making ends meeting while living in the D.C. area.
In 2009, the salary for a member of Congress was $174,000. It has stayed at that level for over 10 years. When everyone else is receiving pay raises in the nation, the leaders were voting to freeze their own.
It appears that this was a political move by the Democrats as the nation headed into an election year during 2010. What could get more votes than a person looking to serve people without any thought of money attached?
This current generation of Democrats are seeking to change that image as they consider budgets for the 2020 year.
This can be done because of a 1989 federal ethics law that provides the right of members of Congress to take care of their own financial concerns.
Members on both sides are in favor of the proposal and the move to provide this cost of living increase.
Evan Hollander, who is a spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee, has said, “There is strong bipartisan support for these modest inflation adjustments.”
He has pointed out that there really needs to be no move on part of the members of Congress since the automatic inflation increase normally takes place year after year. T
he only way to stop such an increase is to actually vote to block the pay increases.
Evan Hollander has also stated, “If members want to alter or eliminate the [cost-of-living adjustment], they should do so through the authorizing process – not appropriations bills.”
The $4,500 is a 2.6 percent increase to their current pay level. This is where the water gets murky with congressional pay raises.
Richard Shelby, who is the Senate Appropriations Chairman, has stated, “I think the American people would think that Congress ought to earn it first.”
And he would be right. So far in the eyes of the public, Congress has failed to produce anything substantial or measurable that would warrant such an increase in pay.
People are looking at the track record of this session of Congress, and they are not seeing anything that has been a help of benefit to the nation as a whole.
All that has taken place is petty investigations against an administration that has been declared innocent of any wrong towards the country or during the election period in 2016.
The Democratic-controlled House has made it a point to try to investigate anything and everything possible to keep this President from achieving his campaign promises.
As a result, the people of America have seen the Congress block attempts to protect the people of America, they have seen Congress waste time and money trying to retry an investigation that is long over, and many other pointless endeavors.
So it is no wonder that the people of America are skeptical of them seeking to provide themselves with a pay raise when they have done nothing to earn or warrant such an increase.