Feingold calls on house to pass senate-approved measure on congressional pay-raisesWednesday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill based on legislation authored by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold to end the back-door pay raise system for members of Congress.
Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill based on legislation authored by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold to end the back-door pay raise system for members of Congress.
Feingold has introduced the legislation for years, most recently on January 26, 2009.
The automatic pay raise system, now nearly 20 years old, gives members of Congress a pay raise annually unless they act to stop it.
Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid successfully shepherded legislation based on Feingold’s bill through the senate.
“I am pleased the senate finally recognized the need to end the backdoor pay raise system,” Feingold stated in a news release issued Wednesday. “The days when members of congress quietly get a pay raise with no debate and no vote, as they did this January, should be a thing of the past. Since Congress has the rare authority to give itself a raise, it should do so openly, subject to regular procedures including a vote on the record. I am pleased the majority leader has recognized the need to act and I thank him for his support.”
Feingold does not accept pay raises during his six-year term, following through on a pledge he made during his first campaign for U.S. Senate in 1992. All the pay he receives during his six-year term above that level available at the beginning of his term is returned to the Treasury Department.
In January 2009, members of Congress were given a $4,700 raise through the stealth pay-raise system. The pay raise followed a December report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which put the national unemployment rate at 7.2 percent.
Thursday, Feingold called on the House of Representatives to join the Senate and end automatic “taxpayer-funded bonuses” for members of Congress.
In remarks made today on the Senate floor, Feingold urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to take up the bill passed yesterday by the Senate to repeal the law that provides automatic pay increases to members of Congress.