Legislation Introduced to Sequester Congressional Pay

Legislation has been introduced to reduce pay for members of Congress by 8.2%.

Two Congressmen have introduced legislation to reduce pay for members of Congress by 8.2%.

Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL) introduced the bill this week, known as the Sequestration of Pay for Members of Congress Act.

Members’ pay would be reduced beginning November 2014 in order to avoid any conflict with the 27th Amendment. Under this Amendment, Congress cannot make any law that immediately affects its own pay. Instead, changes to member pay can only take effect in the next Congress.

Why 8.2%? Because that is is the same amount the Office of Management and Budget estimates nonexempt discretionary spending will be cut this year due to the across-the board spending cuts known as sequestration.

“As Representatives, we should lead by example,” said Rep. Bera. “It’s completely hypocritical for members of Congress to exempt themselves from across-the-board spending cuts, while the American people are bearing the burden of those cuts. Real leadership begins with accountability. That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with my colleague Congressman DeSantis that will apply the same cuts the American people are facing to Congressional paychecks.”

“Much has been said about sequestration, but few have mentioned that the pay of Members of Congress is exempted,” said Rep. DeSantis. “When Members exempt themselves from the operation of the law, it’s not only unfair, but it also violates a core principle of republican government. That is why I am introducing legislation to reduce pay for Members of Congress at the first moment it is constitutionally permissible.”

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.