House won’t vote on lawmaker pay raise ‘at this point in time,’ top Democrat says

Posted at 11:49 AM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 13:49:25-04

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday he’s not going to move forward with a bill that includes the cost of living adjustment to increase House members salaries“at this point in time,” but he didn’t fully rule it out.

“Discussions are ongoing,” Hoyer told reporters. “And as a result, I’m not going to move the (legislative spending) bill at this point time, because we haven’t resolved the issue.”

Hoyer acknowledged that some Republicans are on board and some aren’t, but that ultimately he doesn’t have the votes yet to pass the bill.

Both the House and Senate must pass the legislative branch spending bill by the end of September, though they could still pass it without allowing for the pay raise — as Congress has done for the past decade.

Hoyer listed a number of bills he expects to come up in July, before the August recess, but the list did not include the legislative spending bill.

“If you’ve seen the comments of (House Minority Leader Kevin) McCarthy, (House Minority Whip Steve) Scalise, both of them indicate that they believe that it’s appropriate that we not have just wealthy members who can serve here, but that we keep people even with inflation. So, I think they’re supportive of that,” he said. “But we need to have the votes in order to get there.”

CNN reported earlier this month that the inflation adjustment has opposition from vulnerable members in both parties who don’t like the optics of Congress giving itself a pay raise.

Leaders like Hoyer and McCarthy have expressed support or at least openness to the idea, arguing it helps level the playing field so that it’s not only wealthy people who can afford to serve in Congress and maintain two residences.