Bill Would End Automatic Pay Raises For Congress

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick speaks about PFAS in Horsham in Jun. 2018.

After leading the charge to block a pay raise in the 2020 fiscal budget, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has introduced a bill to permanently end automatic pay raises for members of Congress.

“With bipartisan support, we were able to force House leadership to freeze pay for Members of Congress,” Fitzpatrick said. “Gridlock on major issues must not be rewarded. Members of Congress need a reality check, not a raise. This bill will stop the automatic pay raises for good.”

Automatic pay raises for members of Congress began with the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. Representatives in the House currently make $174,000.

But this amount has remained constant for the past decade. The freeze came in the wake of last decade’s recession.

Then, after a decade of pay stagnation, members of the House attempted to include a $4,500 pay increase in a 2020 appropriations bill.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi thanks Congressman Fitzpatrick for helping to block the pay raise on Twitter.
Rep. Anthony Brindisi thanks Congressman Fitzpatrick for helping to block the pay raise on Twitter.

Fitzpatrick introduced the No Raise for Congress Act with Anthony Brindisi (D-NY). Like the bill itself, the fight against pay increases has been largely bipartisan.

“Upstate New Yorkers don’t get automatic pay raises every year, so neither should Congress,” Brindisi tweeted Thursday. “Proud to work with @RepBrianFitz to introduce our bipartisan #NoRaiseForCongress Act.”

However, the push back is largely against leadership for both parties. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the pay raise a “COLA increase.” Cost of living adjustments are typically based on the consumer price index. Likewise, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy agreed to the increase.