On Friday May 14, 2010 President Obama signed legislation cancelling the Congressional pay raise for 2011. According to the Hill:
The move marks the second consecutive year lawmakers have opted not to receive their automatic cost-of-living increase. The law governing congressional pay raises requires members to vote against getting a raise. Otherwise, the increase takes effect automatically.
Now it looks like Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) wants to take it a step farther and actually cut their salary. According to a May 19 article in the Hill:
Kirkpatrick’s proposal would cut lawmaker pay by 5 percent next year, which would save $4.7 million in taxpayer dollars.
The base pay for a House member is $174,000, though leaders earn a higher salary.
“With the downturn continuing, many Arizonans are tightening their belts to make their money go further,” said Kirkpatrick in a letter to House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady (D-Penn.).
“In the face of our ever-deepening federal debt, the federal government must follow their example by finding common-sense solutions to do more with less.”
Apparently, this would be the first time since 1933 (during the Great Depression) that their pay has been cut. This won’t solve the country’s financial woes but it would be the first sign of common sense and a step in the right direction.