Washington lawmakers are questioning whether or not they should vote to increase their pay. A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll revealed that a vast majority the American people don’t think they deserve it.
The survey found that 57 percent of U.S. voters “strongly oppose” a $4,500 cost-of-living raise for Congress — which would bring salaries to $178,500 — while 15 percent of respondents “somewhat oppose” the idea.
Ten percent of voters in the survey said they “somewhat support” beefing up lawmakers’ pay while just 4 percent said they “strongly support” the idea of a congressional raise.
The poll was conducted from June 7-9 and surveyed 1,991 registered U.S. voters with a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.
Renewed public debate over how much Americans pay their representatives began when House Democrats late last week started moving on a measure to increase Congress’ pay by $4,500 per year. Following public backlash about the idea, the efforts were scrapped for the time being. Congress has forgone their statutory annual 2.6 percent cost-of-living pay bump since 2009.
One of the pay raise’s most vocal Democratic champions claimed that a cost-of-living raise for her and her colleagues helps lawmakers from becoming corrupt. “Voting against cost of living increases for members of Congress may sound nice,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday, “but doing so only increases pressure on them to keep dark money loopholes open.”
The idea has also found the support of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) who said, “I do not want Congress at the end of the day to only be a place that millionaires serve; this should be a body of the people.”
In contrast, House Freedom Caucus member Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) told Blaze Media earlier this week that Congress shouldn’t get a pay raise until they can actually pass a balanced budget.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) dismissed the idea of a pay raise last week, criticizing the Democrats who were pushing for it.
“Instead of writing a budget or reforming our bankrupt entitlement programs, House Democrats are angling for a pay raise,” Sasse said. “These jokers couldn’t hold down a summer job at Dairy Queen pulling this kinda crap.”
Just for reference, the median American household income climbed to a new high of $61,372 in September, meaning that the median American household currently makes more than $100,000 less than a member of Congress, even without a cost-of-living raise.