Cut Congress’ pay, lawmaker proposes

As federal employees inch closer to a second year of frozen pay, one lawmaker is looking to cut his and his colleagues' salaries relative to increases in government spending.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., last week introduced legislation that would tie congressional salaries to changes in the federal budget. Under the bill, lawmakers would see a decrease in pay equal to the percentage of budget growth over the previous fiscal year. If spending increased by 5 percent, salaries would decline by 5 percent the following year.

"As public servants, we have a lot of work to do to bring down our national debt and reduce deficit spending," Forbes said in a statement. "It will not be easy. It will take hard work. It will not happen overnight."

Rank-and-file members of Congress earn $174,000 annually, while party leaders make more. Lawmakers determine their own pay and receive automatic annual raises, which take effect on Jan. 1 of each year, unless they vote to decline the increase as they did in both 2010 and 2011.

Forbes' bill is not the first proposal to cut congressional salaries. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., in January introduced legislation that would cut lawmaker pay by 10 percent -- in addition to mandating two-week furloughs for all federal employees. Reps. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., sponsored similar legislation. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in January introduced a bill that would reduce lawmaker pay by 5 percent. These bills are caught up in committee, however.

Other lawmakers are proposing to end benefits paid out to families of colleagues who die in office. Reps. Bill Posey, R-Fla., and Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., last week sponsored a bill that would end the congressional death gratuity, equal to a year's salary, awarded to members' survivors. Lawmakers should buy life insurance like everyone else, they said.

"Life insurance is accessible," said Posey spokesman George Cecala. "There's no reason why we shouldn't ask members to purchase life insurance instead of having to pay their families death gratuities . . . They're wealthy. Why are they paying their families more when they have all these money already?"

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.