Members of the House of Representatives will not be getting a pay raise after a heated debate. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick spearheaded a bipartisan effort Tuesday night to remove a $4,500 increase to their salaries from an appropriations bill.
The representative from Bucks County called it a “ridiculous raise” while many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Fitzpatrick, and his peers in the House, already make $174,000 annually.
“America’s infrastructure is crumbling, our borders remain unsecured, our immigration system is broken, healthcare costs continue to rise, and Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck,” Fitzpatrick said. “This Congress has had six months since it convened in January to address these issues but has not. Members from both parties are to blame. And yet, members from both parties seem to think they have earned a pay raise.”
Not all members of Congress were pleased with the denial. Supporters of the pay increase argued higher salaries for members of congress would help prevent corruption. With bigger pockets, representatives would have less incentive to take bribes.
“Voting against cost of living increases for members of Congress may sound nice, but doing so only increases pressure on them to keep dark money loopholes open,” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) posted on Twitter.
Almost twenty other members of the House joined Fitzpatrick in the effort to thwart the increases.
“I am pleased that enough of my colleagues agreed to join me that we were able to force leadership to put this ridiculous raise on hold,” Fitzpatrick said. “I look forward to meeting House leadership at the negotiating table to ensure the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill doesn’t include any pay increase for myself or any of my colleagues.”