Senators Want to Cut Congressional Pay

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Susan Walsh/AP

Lawmakers should take a pay cut during sequestration, say two Democrats.

Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Bill Nelson of Florida have introduced legislation that calls for a reduction in congressional salaries once furloughs begin across government. Furloughs could start as early as late March at some agencies, though April is more likely. They will continue through September unless Congress reverses the automatic spending cuts triggered on Friday.

“The federal workforce is looking at furloughs that would result in a sizeable pay cut -- and there’s absolutely no reason members of Congress should exempt themselves,” McCaskill said. “We can and should reach a balanced compromise to replace these damaging across-the-board cuts, but until we do, this is an obvious step to hold Congress accountable for the job we need to get done.”

The bill, dubbed the Congressional Overspending Pay Accountability Act, would reduce congressional salaries by the greatest percentage decrease furloughed employees face. Agencies have estimated that some employees could lose up to 20 percent of their salary based on the number of days they are forced to take unpaid leave.

The legislation, though, might not be legal. The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits a sitting Congress from increasing or decreasing its own pay, although it can change the pay of future legislative bodies. A provision in the McCaskill-Nelson bill says if the pay cut is deemed unconstitutional, then the legislation would take effect in the next Congress.

The public favors docking the pay of Congress and the president for failing to balance the budget. A whopping 81 percent of voters believe lawmakers should take a 25 percent pay cut until the federal budget is balanced, according to a January survey from Rasmussen Reports.

Other lawmakers and officials have expressed solidarity with federal workers facing furloughs, offering to give up part of their salaries during the sequester.

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

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

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