Bipartisan agreement in Congress: We don’t deserve a raise

Hats off to the Congressional members who took swift action to refuse their own pay raise in the middle of the country’s historic financial crisis.

Members of the House are expected to consider a bill  put forth by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), who is part of the charge to oppose President Obama’s “out of touch” decision to lift a federal pay freeze starting in March 2013. Rep. Ken Marchant (R-Texas) said he will co-sponsor Fitzpatrick’s bill.

But his isn’t the only legislation to be considered. Republican lawmakers, Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) & Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) have also announced plans to put forth legislation that would prevent Congress members from getting Barack Obama signing ordera $900-a-year pay increase.

“Lifting the pay freeze for Members of Congress at a time when we are working to restore fiscal health to the federal government is unacceptable, and I will work to prevent it,” Fitzpatrick said. “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.”

In addition to writing a letter to President Obama expressing his concerns, Fitzpatrick announced in a release that he will turn down any money given to him.

“I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to join me in demonstrating to the American people that Congress is willing to lead by example and reject this inappropriate and unnecessary pay raise.  Should the legislation not pass by March 27th, I will not accept the funds decreed by President Obama’s Executive order.”

Renacci had some of the strongest criticism for the executive order:

“Washington’s dysfunction doesn’t deserve a raise, it needs a hard dose of reality and I am happy to help supply it,” he said in his statement announcing his intention to propose the new legislation.

It’s not only the Republicans that see the folly in Obama’s order. Democratic Congressman John Barrow circulated a much shorter letter among members to send to House leadership:

Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Leader Pelosi, Whip Hoyer,

We oppose the pay increase for Members of Congress granted by Executive Order on December 27, 2012. The Executive Order would raise our salaries by $900 per year, beginning March 27, 2013.

We believe that it is inappropriate for Members of Congress to receive a pay increase of any size while American families and taxpayers continue to face tough economic times.

We urge you to bring legislation to the floor to stop this pay adjustment as soon as possible.

Twitter logoTwitter was “a tweet” with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle showing their disapproval after President Obama signed the order lifting the pay freeze on Friday. The Hill writer Alexandra Jaffe published some of the tweets that surfaced.

GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo (N.J.): “DISAGREE with President’s executive order granting pay raise to Congress. I’ve voted against automatic increases & will not accept this one.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.):”With President Obama’s decision to give Congress a pay raise, every American should question his judgment in managing our nation’s finances.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.): “POTUS approved out of touch pay raise for Cong. I’ll intro bill to stop it. W/16T debt and Americans facing tax hike, Cong $ raise is wrong,”

Rep. John Carney (D-Del.):”Members of Congress don’t deserve a pay raise.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.): “Congressional Pay Raise? Worst idea ever. Cut food stamps while boosting Senate salaries? No way!”

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About Michele Kirk

Michele Kirk is a writer, editor, and field reporter for BizPac Review. Michele can be reached at michele@bizpacreview.com & @michelekirkbpr

  • Bill Vincent

    This was about as bad as Wall Street executives giving themselves multimillion dollar bonuses with bailout for doing such a good job of running their comapnies into the ground. And now– NOW, Obama's about to raise the debt limit. What's wrong with this picture?????

  • KB Cook

    This poser POTUS has devastated the economic and the moral integrity of our nation while putting our Constitution through the shredder! He's dangerous to the core and my prayer is that God will raise up enough mentally-sound conservatives to thwart his efforts to bring us down completely!

  • Joe

    Obama offered the congress a pay raise, the senate took the bribe and passed really bad legislation. I hope the house has more ethics. Besides, I thought congress was in charge of the money?

  • http://FaceBook.com Damon P Runyon

    Thank you Congressfor your back bone

  • Sandi

    I urge all members of Congress to refuse this idiotic executive (?) order made by a President with absolutely no conscience or responsibility to this country. I also urge all voters to vote against any member of Congress that accepts this raise in pay while millions of Americans suffer, struggling to simply put food on the table. God bless those with the backbone to "do right" by the people they represent.

  • Maxine Funk

    Is the POTUS trying to BRIBE Congress??? Isn't it illegal to offer bribes to LAW MAKERS????

  • Carol Sibley

    Michelle Bachman, please provide to real Americans those who accepted a payraise with our Country in such a mess! The jerk in the W/H doesn't mind spending $4M on a vacation – he should have taken all of those who HE thinks are doing without! That would certainly make the news! FOX anyway!

  • Teresa Gilchrist

    I don't think you all understand how things work. POTUS authorized a pay increase for federal workers who have not had a pay increase for three years. It is up to congress to decline their portion of the pay increase and it sounds like they will. This pay increase to the federal workers would be $250/yr for someone making $50,000/yr. Most people that received that type of raise would be complaining that it was so low. It's not real significant. Educate yourselves before you start talking.

  • Jennifer Chaparro

    We understand how things work in private industry. Most people these days have taken deep pay cuts, or lost their jobs. Any increase for anyone at this stage of the game is insane. We make a half to a third less than we used to 5-6 years ago. Why should any government worker, in a system that has no budget, get any kind of raise. I don't recall any of them taking pay cuts like the private sector did.

  • Daniel

    Instead of a pay raise for federal workers, there should be a 10% pay cut. The Federal workers are over paid as it is and it's time to bring them back to a level where they should be. A 10% cut in pay would be a good first step, but they should really get about a 30% pay cut. If they don't like that, then let them quit their jobs and maybe well see the size of government get back to where it should be.