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Does Congress Deserve a Raise?

President Barack Obama thinks it’s time to give Congress and federal employees a raise. What do you think, Tampa Bay?

Does Congress Deserve a Raise?

Update, Jan. 3 1:24 p.m.: The U.S. House has voted to block the pay raise, according to the Washington Post.


Vice President Joe Biden will earn $231,900 a year. House Speaker John Boehner will get $224,500. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s pay will change to $194,400 annually.

Those figures, according to the Huffington Post, represent the salaries of some of America’s top politicians after a half-percent pay increase goes into effect for all members of Congress, the vice president and federal employees in March 2013. There are 2.8 million federal workers.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order removing the pay freeze on federal positions in the midst of the fiscal cliff negotiations. The act effectively raises the pay of federal government employees by a half-percent on March 27, as well as members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.

Federal workers' pay has been frozen at 2010 levels, which Obama supported to curb spending and lower the deficit. After his re-election, Obama promised to ease that.

While Congress and federal employees will get a bump in pay, many Americans will see their paychecks shrink this year. The payroll tax holiday was not included in the financial package passed by Congress passed late New Year’s night to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The ending of the holiday means Americans who earn $50,000 will see their take-home pay shrink by about $1,000 a year, according to the Post.

While some say the time has come to give public workers a raise, others argue the country can ill afford spending the additional money.

One of the loudest voices of opposition comes from one of the order’s beneficiaries, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She’s already introduced legislation to rescind Obama’s order and the movement is starting to gain some support from others in Congress.

“This executive order was not requested by Congress and we should reject it,” Bachmann wrote in a statement.” We have a spending problem in our country and we should be looking for areas to cut spending. At a time when families across the country are cutting back we should not increase government spending and add to the debt burden by giving members of Congress a pay raise. We need to begin with ourselves and I urge my colleagues to join me in this effort.”

What do you think, Tampa Bay? Should Congress get a raise? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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