Politics

Republican pushes for congressional pay cut, hat-tips Gabrielle Giffords

Steven Nelson Associate Editor

Members of Capitol Hill’s millionaires club are in for a pay cut — a small one, anyway — if Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder has his way.

Yoder has introduced the Congressional Salary Reduction Act, which “would reduce Congressional salaries by 5 percent, as well as eliminate the automatic cost-of-living adjustments that members of Congress receive annually.”

A Monday press release announcing the legislation said it “mirrors similar legislation that was introduced by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords prior to the tragic shooting in Tucson, AZ in January 2011.”

“Cutting Congressional pay is a small dent but I’m hopeful my colleagues will wake up to the fact that we need more leadership on serious issues and much less chatter about them,” said Yoder.

In November 2011, Giffords was one of 14 Democratic congressmen who joined 11 House Republicans to urge the then-deliberating debt reduction super committee to reduce congressional salaries by five percent. According to the measure’s advocates, the cut would save $50 million over ten years.

The New York Times reported in 2011 that the median net worth of members of Congress was $913,000. About half of the 535 members were millionaires, according to the Times.

Most congressmen collect a $174,000 annual taxpayer-funded salary. Members of House and Senate leadership earn slightly more.

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