Pelosi Gives Up on Pay Raise For Congress After Backlash
Democrats are poised to cave on a proposal to increase the annual salary for members of Congress.
House Democrats agreed Monday night to remove a provision from an upcoming government funding bill that would increase congressional salaries by $4,500. Members of Congress are already paid a generous $174,000, earning well above what the average American makes in a year.
A battle was set to emerge in the Democratic caucus over the proposed pay increase. Some Democrats in battleground states were opposed to the raise, seeing it as poor political optics, whereas other members of the House Majority were inclined to go ahead and help themselves to even more. Members of Congress are paid considerably more than even the most senior government employees.
Steny Hoyer, the Democratic House Majority Leader, was quoted by Politico as stating that the pay raise provision is being pulled from the government appropriations package while Democrats hash out a consensus on the issue internally.
Upstart New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is thus far one of the few Democrats to go on record in support of the proposed pay raise, describing it as a necessary move to counteract the Congress-to-lobbyist pipeline. It’s unclear why the democratic socialist can’t find an alternative way to deter the influence of corrupt lobbyists without paying overpaid government employees even more money.
Many Democrats seem to genuinely believe they’re being underpaid and can’t afford to take up residence in the expensive Washington D.C area with their current income, despite being handed a large salary that many middle and working-class Americans would consider themselves immensely fortunate to receive.
It’s not entirely impossible that the few crucial Democrats opposed to the raise will take their commendable opposition to a congressional cash grab a step further- by announcing their support for a pay cut of the hefty and bloated annual $174,000 congressional salary.