Perry Proposes Tying Congressional Pay to a Balanced Budget
March 28, 2012
Dillsburg – Rep. Scott Perry today proposed eliminating future pay increases for members of Congress until the federal budget is balanced and he pledged to voluntarily refuse his until the deficit is history.
“Congress has a job to do. If it’s not getting it done, then we should hit them where it hurts: their pocketbooks,” said Perry. “The federal budget deficit is one of the most important challenges facing our country and we need to get serious about addressing it.”
Members of Congress receive a base pay of $174,000 and are entitled to an automatic cost of living adjustment (COLA) unless they vote to rescind it. Since this method began in 1990, Congress got the COLA 13 times and voted seven times to rescind.
Congress rescinded the COLA last year, which saved taxpayers $850,000, or $1,600 a lawmaker. However, Congress took the COLA in 2009, which cost taxpayers $2.5 million, or $4,700 a lawmaker.
As a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Perry proposed legislation to suspend state lawmakers’ automatic COLA if state revenues fall below projections. He refused to take a COLA during his three terms in the state House, instead donating it to local fire companies and charities.
“I started my own business and I certainly did not give myself a raise if the company did not perform well. The same should be true for our government,” said Perry. “It is easy to talk about running government like a business; I intend to put my money where my mouth is.”
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