House Democrats, who claimed they couldn’t find money to fund a border wall, are now planning to give themselves a $4,500 raise.
Of course, Democrats don’t want to call it a “raise.” American Mirror reported that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, leading the charge for the pay bump, explained to reporters Tuesday that pay raises are constitutionally prohibited from taking effect until the next Congress, which is why the $4,500 annual increase included in Democrats’ 2020 spending bill is actually an “adjustment,” not a raise.
Just five months ago, Speaker Pelosi said that she would only give President Trump $1 dollar towards his border security wall.
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House spending leaders want to break a decade long pay freeze and give members of Congress a cost-of-living bump that could pad their salaries with an extra $4,500 next year.
Congressional salaries have been frozen at about $174,000 since 2009, when Democrats controlled Congress and decided to suspend automatic cost-of-living increases while heading into the 2010 election year.
Now, House Democrats say they are moving forward with fiscal 2020 funding bills that won’t block those pay increases, which are guaranteed by a 1989 federal ethics law.
“There is strong bipartisan support for these modest inflation adjustments,” said Evan Hollander, a spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee, noting that the panel does not have to take action to allow the automatic increases and will simply be forgoing language that would block the raises.
“If members want to alter or eliminate the [cost-of-living adjustment], they should do so through the authorizing process — not appropriations bills,” Hollander said.
Under current law, lawmakers would receive a 2.6 percent pay adjustment, or $4,500, in January. But boosting congressional pay is always politically difficult.
“I think the American people would think that Congress ought to earn it first,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) told reporters this week.