House Democrats have put together their budget requests for 2020 and the most important thing to them is…bigger paychecks?
Hoping to break the “decade-long” Congressional pay freeze, which has kept congressional salaries at $174,000 annually, a number apparently too low for them as they aim for a $4,700 yearly boost in pay to reflect the apparently “current” market demand for legislators. Some Democratic Congress members have argued that the pay bump is only fair as they have struggled for long enough with only $174,000 in addition to their already regular pay bumps to coincide with inflation and cost of living expenses.
Not everything went quite according to plan. In a small display of the chaos that is the Democratic party, they abruptly halted the efforts to receive a raise. Several freshman Democrats tried especially hard to block it. “House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, Nita Lowey, said “It needs more discussion.”
New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez meanwhile said that the planned $4,500 bonus was simply a cost-of-living adjustment. “It’s not even like a raise,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She called opposition to the pay increase “superficial… This is why there’s so much pressure to turn to lobbying firms and to cash in on member service after people leave, because precisely of this issue.”
Ocasio-Cortez added that both members of Congress and people making minimum wage deserve more money. Apparently, however, she doesn’t know simple economics. If minimum wage is raised, then cost of living will also be raised. This would mean that she would ask for another raise to keep up with inflation again, and it would be a terribly idiotic never-ending cycle.
“It may be politically convenient, and it may make you look good in the short term for saying, ‘Oh we’re not voting for pay increases,’ but we should be fighting for pay increases for every American worker,” she said. “We should be fighting for a $15 minimum wage pegged to inflation so that everybody in the United States with a salary with a wage gets a cost of living increase. Members of Congress, retail workers, everybody should get cost of living increases to accommodate for the changes in our economy. And then when we don’t do that, it only increases the pressure on members to exploit loopholes like insider-trading loopholes, to make it on the back end.”
How ironic that AOC, the Democratic Socialist that believes people don’t need to live luxurious lives, is demanding and whining about a raise to bump her higher into the six figures range.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) found in May that, adjusted for inflation, salaries for members of Congress “have decreased 15 percent since the last pay adjustment in 2009.” Following a cost-of-living adjustment formula established in 2009, members of Congress should currently be making $210,900, the CRS found. The turnaround on congressional pay was one in a series of dramatic developments during a whirlwind day on Capitol Hill, with many more potentially still to come.