Congressional Record

Ron Barber Wants Less Pay for Congress, Says They Will Feel "Pain" at $140,000 Per Year

Arizona Democratic Congressman Ron Barber wants members of Congress to "share the pain" with federal employees who've seen a reduction in pay or will be threatened with a reduction in pay due to budget cuts.

This "pain" apparently would be felt under Barber's proposal of a 20 percent reduction of Congress members' salaries, from $174,000 to $139,200.

"Congress failed to address sequestration, which threatens Border Patrol agents with salary cuts of up to 40 percent," a press release from Barber's office says. "It is only right that those of us in Congress share the pain of those agents, defense civilian employees and other federal employees who have been hit in their wallets because of Congress' failure to act."

Compare the "pain" Barber is proposing with the entry-level salary for Border Patrol employees -- $33,829, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

A cut to that salary doesn't make six figures sound like "pain" in any sense.

To Barber's credit, his attempt looks much better than that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who opined that a pay cut for Congress would be inappropriate.

However, there's also this thing called the 27th Amendment, which means that Barber's proposal wouldn't even take effect until after the 2014 election.

Political posturing: B
Foresight: C+

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley