Big ups to Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, who reaffirmed her commitment to a Congressional pay cut today by writing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter demanding a floor vote on a resolution she introduced in March.
The United States government is $13.5 trillion in the hole, unemployment looms around 10 percent, and even President Obama says everyone needs to make sacrifices.
With Congress' approval rating at a dismal 21 percent, Kirkpatrick says the sacrifices should start in-house.
"Representatives have to make sacrifices of their own before they ask anyone else to do without. For more than a decade, both parties have buried this country deeper and deeper in debt. Naturally, the American people now do not trust Congress to set the right priorities," Kirkpatrick wrote in the letter to Pelosi. "We need to prove that we are actually serious about restoring fiscal discipline -- serious enough to start the cutbacks with our own pocketbooks."
The bill introduced by Kirkpatrick in March is HR 4720, the "Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act," and it calls for a 5 percent pay cut to congressional salaries.
The bill has been stalled in committee, and Kirkpatrick wants a floor vote before Congress adjourns in October.
Kirkpatrick is up for re-election, so the timing of her letter is somewhat politically motivated -- we find it hard to fathom that too many voters wouldn't be in favor of a Congressional pay cut -- but it's the thought that counts. Not to mention, if the bill does get a floor vote before the October recess, we'll get to see which legislators approve the resolution -- and which don't -- before election day.
Good luck explaining to constituents a "no" vote on this one.
Your rank-and-file member of Congress makes $174,000 a year, while the speaker of the House makes $223,500 annually.
Other high-level members, like the majority and minority leaders in both the House and Senate, make $193,400.
If you're amongst the majority of American citizens, that's far more than you're making doing whatever it is you do.
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