January 7, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., and Ron Paul, R-Texas announced they will continue their bipartisan efforts against the automatic pay raise, and have introduced legislation to block the nearly $4,700 raise members of Congress are set to receive next year.
“We’re in the midst of a recession, and our elected leaders need to do the right thing,” said Mitchell. “For Congress to give itself a pay raise at a time when so many hardworking Americans are suffering is unconscionable.”
“Turning down our automatic pay increase this year is the least Congress could do to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and solidarity with our constituents in these tough economic times. Much more needs to be done to reduce the size and expense of government, but passing this legislation would be a start,” stated Congressman Paul.
If the Mitchell-Paul legislation becomes law, members of Congress would forgo their anticipated 2010 pay raise, which would save taxpayers approximately $2.5 million. [Source: The Hill, Dec. 17, 2008]
Mitchell and Paul introduced similar legislation last year to block the 2009 pay raise. H.R. 5087 earned 34 bipartisan co-sponsors. The new legislation, H.R. 156, introduced yesterday has already garnered 57 cosponsors.
In 1989, Congress passed a law that provides lawmakers with an automatic pay raise every January unless they vote specifically to reject the raise.