Late last week House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland strongly advocated pay raises for Congress. He was not alone in his demand. His rationale? We shouldn’t allow the pay of Hill staffers to exceed the pay of members of Congress. Of course, lowering the pay of staffers never occurred to him.
Yup, making sure both rookie and senile members of the House are better paid than the professional staff is the reason he’s reaching into your pockets to get more money for himself and the rest of Congress. You see, he can do that.
Deciding your own salary is a nice deal, huh?
Of course, we do want to reward the House of Representatives for…for…er…ummm…okay, I give up. Oh, hold on! Surely something should go to Reps like AOC, Omar, and Tlaib for the unintentional amusement they engender. And after all, AOC is used to getting tips.
But to give credit where credit is due, three Republicans and two Dems have offered amendments that would bar even a cost-of-living pay increase to members of Congress. Though before we give them further credit for integrity and political courage, all five of them know full well that any pay increase passed by the House would be quickly killed in the GOP Senate.
If the Dems had anything to do with the booming economy (they don’t) or making the border more secure (they try to do the opposite) or even just got out of the way and let the grownups do the job of governing, perhaps they’d have earned a couple of extra bucks.
However, outside of government, you don’t get a raise for abrogation of duty, leading the nation on a multiyear hoax chase, and generally poor performance at your job. In the real world you get fired for that stuff.
In 2020 the ultimate HR managers of Congress, the voters, may do just that. Until then, or until the unlikely day Congress gets their act together, they don’t deserve a penny more in pay.
The president? Now that guy deserves a bonus.