MIL-OSI USA: Golden, Fitzpatrick lead renewed bipartisan push to block pay increase for members of Congress

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02)

 WASHINGTON — Congressmen Jared Golden (ME-02) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) are once again leading the fight to oppose congressional pay raises, demanding that congressional leaders exclude proposed cost of living adjustment (COLA) for members of Congress from the FY2025 federal budget. 

“It was only three months ago that we successfully blocked a Congressional pay raise in the FY2024 budget, and here we are once again having to remind our colleagues that public service is about our constituents, not our paychecks,” Golden said.

“It is an honor to serve in Congress, where our sole mission is to work together to address the rising challenges facing our nation and deliver results for our communities and constituents,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “As hardworking families across the country struggle to make ends meet, they deserve to know that their Members of Congress are fighting to address these issues, lower costs, and champion initiatives that directly benefit and better them—not working to increase our own salaries.” 

Golden and Fitzpatrick sent a bipartisan letter, co-signed by three other members, to Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries urging them to once again reject member pay raises. 

“As you know, our nation is confronting a series of challenges: working families and our small businesses are continuing to struggle to make ends meet from inflation, our immigration system is broken, and our global adversaries are aggressively seeking to expand their influence in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Despite these realities, most members of Congress currently receive an annual salary of $174,000 a year, more than approximately 90 percent of American households…”

“Until Congress can demonstrate to the American people that it can work in a bipartisan, bicameral way to move our country forward, we believe that excluding Member COLA language in the appropriations bill is the right thing to do.” they wrote. 

Members’ $174,000 annual salary is roughly three times the average individual salary in Maine, and higher than the annual pay of roughly 96 percent of Mainers.

Golden has been an outspoken opponent of a congressional pay raise, helping block the effort each time it’s been raised since he took office.

Golden’s letter can be found here, and is included below in full:

 

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June 13, 2024

The Honorable Mike Johnson
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries
Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Johnson and Leader Jeffries:

As you finalize the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Legislative Branch appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you exclude any cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Members of Congress.

As you know, our nation is confronting a series of challenges: working families and our small businesses are continuing to struggle to make ends meet from inflation, our immigration system is broken, and our global adversaries are aggressively seeking to expand their influence in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific. Despite these realities, most members of Congress currently receive an annual salary of $174,000 a year, more than approximately 90 percent of American households.

Over the past several years, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have made the important and correct decision to not move forward with language that would allow Members of Congress to receive a pay raise. Given continued congressional inaction to address our nation’s most pressing challenges, we ask that the House FY25 Legislative Branch appropriations bill include the following language:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no adjustment shall be made under section 601(a) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 4501) (relating to cost of living adjustments for Members of Congress) during fiscal year 2025.”

Representing your community in Congress is about public service, not about how big your paycheck is. Until Congress can demonstrate to the American people that it can work in a bipartisan, bicameral way to move our country forward, we believe that excluding Member COLA language in the appropriations bill is the right thing to do.

We appreciate your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

 

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