Scroll for updates…6:10pm Eastern…Reid introduces gimmick to beat back automatic pay raise repeal…refuses to say that he has commitment to bring his gimmick to the House floor…Vitter amendment goes down, tabled…52-45
GOP Sen. David Vitter is causing Senate Democrats heartburn. Good.
He’s been pushing an amendment to the $410 billion omni-pork bill that would repeal the current law allowing automatic pay raises for Congress.
Doesn’t look so good for lawmakers to be enjoying the automatic perk during an economic downturn. Vitter’s proposal: How about a little shared sacrifice, fellas?
From Vitter’s office:
“Congress has been receiving pay increases most years under a formula set into law 20 years ago,” said Vitter. “At a time when so many Americans are losing their jobs and struggling to pay their mortgages, these raises just aren’t right. Most Americans don’t have a formula at their job that gives them automatic pay raises, and Congress shouldn’t either.”
The amendment would repeal the provision of law that set in place automatic raises for Members of Congress. The increase that went into effect for this year amounts to an additional $4,700 per year.
“Last year in Louisiana, the state legislature proposed a raise for its members, and Louisianans were rightfully outraged. I’ve heard from many constituents who have called to express their anger over automatic raises for Congress as well,” Vitter said. “With our economy in such a state of distress, it’s just not appropriate for Congress to continue to receive theses automatic pay raises. My amendment would require Congress to vote to approve any future pay increases.”
Vitter’s amendment is similar to a stand-alone bill he introduced at the beginning of the 111th Congress that also seeks to achieve the same goal – ending automatic pay raises.
The quandary via CQ:
The upcoming vote on Vitter’s amendment is problematic for supporters of the underlying spending measure. A vote against the amendment could put a senator in the politically perilous position of defending automatic pay increases for lawmakers at a difficult economic time for nearly all Americans. If the amendment is adopted, it could prove to be a poison pill, eroding support in both chambers for the yearlong spending measure, and forcing a House-Senate conference.
Harry Reid’s ploy is to offer a separate, stand-alone bill to repeal the robo-pay raises — to give Senate Dems cover. You can count on that separate bill never making it onto the Senate floor.
Make your voice heard: 202-224-3121.
Update 6:10pm Eastern…Dingy Harry Reid pleading with Senate to pass his stand-along automatic pay raise repeal separately. “This is a serious effort.”
He’s almost choking on his own words as he says it.
6:36pm Eastern…Vitter amendment goes down…tabled 52-45.
Reid whining about how “difficult” the process has been.