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June 22, 2010 -

Enzi, Barrasso Fight to End Automatic Pay Raises for Congress

Urge Speaker Pelosi to pass bill in House that would save roughly $80 million over ten years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., recently joined a group of bi-partisan Senators in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) calling for her to bring up for vote legislation that would end the system of automatic, annual pay raises for members of Congress. 


“Automatic pay raises are a bad idea anywhere. In Congress it sets the wrong example and it's past time for us to stop. Our country is headed down a Greek-debt road. Our credit cards are maxed out. This is a good step toward changing course. To assure our country's good name, we all have to do some belt tightening and prioritize spending if we are to right our economic ship,” said Enzi.


“The American people don’t get an automatic pay raise every year, so why should members of Congress?  Our nation currently faces high unemployment and a soaring $13 trillion deficit.  Members of Congress should solve these serious challenges before we get automatically rewarded for our work,” said Barrasso.




In 1989, Congress passed an amendment allowing for automatic pay raises, unless lawmakers specifically voted to reject it. The annual raises are generally a 2-3% cost of living adjustment based on inflation.


In 2009, the Senate unanimously passed S. 620, a bill that amends the Legislative Reorganization

Act of 1946 to eliminate automatic pay adjustments for members of Congress.


In their letter to Speaker Pelosi, Senators Enzi and Barrasso urge the House to pass the bill.  If passed, the bill would save roughly $80 million over ten years. 


The following Senators signed onto the letter:


Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), David Vitter (R-La.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).