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McCaskill Continues Fight to end Automatic Pay Raises for Congress

As part of agenda to Clean up Congress, McCaskill again calls for Congress to pass her bill to end automatic raises for Congress

March 13, 2012

WASHINGTON - Even as families across the country struggle to make ends meet, members of Congress are still able to receive automatic annual pay raises, and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill wants to change that.

As part of her broader effort to "clean up Congress" and strengthen accountability and transparency in government, McCaskill is honoring Sunshine Week by calling on her colleagues each day to commit to a specific step toward these goals.

Today, McCaskill called on her colleagues to swiftly pass her legislation, S.133, which would put an end to automatic pay raises for Congress.

"Most Missouri families don't have the luxury of automatic pay raises-and neither should Congress," said McCaskill, a former prosecutor and Missouri State Auditor. "When I arrived in the Senate, Congress had spent a decade giving themselves pay raises every year while hardworking, middle-class Missourians struggled to make ends meet. That's why I've led the fight to end these raises, and it's why I'm calling on my colleagues today to give up automatic pay hikes once and for all."

Under current law, members of Congress automatically receive yearly cost-of-living pay increases unless members vote to stop the increase. McCaskill has helped stop several of the individual yearly pay raises since arriving in the Senate.  In fact, Congressional members have not received a pay raise since 2009.  However, under current law, Congress must act to block a pay raise.  McCaskill wants to change the process so that Congress would have to act if it wanted to give itself a raise. McCaskill's legislation would eliminate the provision in law that provides for an annual automatic pay raise for members of Congress and therefore require Congress to vote proactively in order to raise their pay.

McCaskill's efforts this week round out years of work to reform government, including:

  • Expanding protections for whistleblowers
  • Establishing a moratorium on earmarks and introducing bipartisan legislation to permanently ban them from the legislative process
  • Fighting to open up to the public the consideration and markup of the National Defense Authorization bill
  • Spearheading the effort to establish an independent watchdog in the form of a Senate Inspector General, to root out waste of taxpayer dollars in the chamber's budget

McCaskill also recently introduced landmark legislation along with Senator Jim Webb (Va.) to overhaul the federal government's planning, management, and oversight of contracting during overseas contingency operations and eliminate the systemic problems that have led to the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars.

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