Last week I informed you that Barack Obama signed an executive order the will increase the pay of Congress and Federal workers. Well apparently one Democrat Representative has a conscience about the issue and rebuked Obama for the executive order and demanded that Congress do "everything possible to stop this pay increase....right away."
Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) issued a press release stating:
U.S. Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) today urged his colleagues to join him in opposing the pay increase for Members of Congress and other elected officials, as dictated by an Executive Order from the President of the United States on December 27, 2012.
"At a time when American families face real hardship, it would be irresponsible to allow Congressional pay to increase. Too many families face uncertainty in the New Year for Congress to get a bonus," said Congressman Barrow. "Folks expect us to be looking out for them, not ourselves, and we should be working to lower taxes, cut spending, and get our nation's debt under control. Congress should get to work, and I urge the House leadership to do anything and everything possible to stop this pay increase for Members of Congress right away."
Barrow's office also issued a letter to the Republican and Democrat leadership of the House which reads:
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Leader Pelosi, Whip Hoyer,
We oppose the pay increase for Members of Congress granted by Executive Order on December 27, 2012. The Executive Order would raise our salaries by $900 per year, beginning March 27, 2013.
We believe that it is inappropriate for Members of Congress to receive a pay increase of any size while American families and taxpayers continue to face tough economic times.
We urge you to bring legislation to the floor to stop this pay adjustment as soon as possible.
Can I get a witness? An amen? Goodness, at least there is a Democrat who gets this point and is willing to stand up and be counted on this issue. I appreciate the fact that he has taken this stand. I would imagine those a little higher up will be snubbing their noses at Rep. Barrow, but I think he is right on the money on this one. I'm wondering if he will also refuse the pay raise, should the executive order remain in place.
However, he is not the only one saying this. Fox News is reporting that other lawmakers are speaking out against the executive order as well (although I wish they would speak out against them more often, and nullify them).
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) wrote on his Facebook page, "I continue to oppose the President’s executive order to give members of Congress a pay raise. The American people don’t get an automatic pay raise and neither should members of Congress."
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., introduced legislation Monday that would rescind the pay raises.
“I am calling on my colleagues in the House and Senate to rescind President Obama’s executive order that gives members of Congress a pay raise," she said in a statement. "This executive order was not requested by Congress and we should reject it. We have a spending problem in our country and we should be looking for areas to cut spending. At a time when families across the country are cutting back we should not increase government spending and add to the debt burden by giving members of Congress a pay raise. We need to begin with ourselves and I urge my colleagues to join me in this effort.”
Republican Sen. Rob Portman said now is not the time for bigger salaries in Washington -- at least not until the country can deal aggressively with its debt and deficit problems.
"At a time when our country is facing record debt and trillion-dollar deficits, the last thing Washington should do is reward itself with a pay increase," the Ohio senator said. "I am calling on President Obama to withdraw his recent executive order raising federal salaries -- including for members of Congress. Until a long-term deficit reduction agreement is reached, we should not consider increasing the pay for Congress."
Congress was not the only ones given raises. The raises will flow out to the tune of $11 billion to various federal government workers.