Salazar signs on to block Congress’ pay raise

Congressman John Salazar, D-Colo., and at least two of his Colorado peers plan to support legislation to keep federal lawmakers from receiving their pay raises over the next two years.

Eric Wortman, spokesman for the congressman, said Salazar will support a plan to bar lawmakers from receiving a $4,700 salary increase this year while the rest of the American public is grappling with a faltering economy.

“I think everybody’s going to agree there shouldn’t be … a pay raise,” Wortman said.

Congressman Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., introduced the Stop the Congressional Pay Raise Act earlier this year. The bill, H.R. 156, would prevent Congress’ automatic pay hike from taking effect through the end of 2010.

According to a memo from the Congressional Research Service, members of Congress will make $169,300 if their raises are frozen.

Congresswoman Betsy Markey, D-Colo., also announced Monday she plans to support Mitchell’s bill.

“For Congress to give itself a pay raise at a time when so many hardworking Americans are suffering is unconscionable,” Markey said in a statement.

Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Colo., has signed onto the bill as one of its cosponsors.

The bill goes before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform before hitting the House floor.

President Barack Obama already has frozen the salaries of upper-echelon White House staff.


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