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For the past two years, members of Congress voted to not have their yearly cost-of-living pay raises. On Wednesday Senator Claire McCaskill proposed legislation that will stop automatic pay raises not only this year, but in the years to come. KSMU’s Adam Hammons reports.
In previous years, members of Congress would get an automatic cost-of-living adjustment at the end each year. McCaskill’s proposed legislation would get rid of this pay raise permanently. McCaskill says she believes the people should have a say in whether or not members of Congress should get a raise.
“Frankly no member of Congress should get a pay raise unless the voters know what their raise was and they approve it. I’m hopeful that that’s the system that will replace this clearly very bad system that doesn’t allow the accountability that average folks have when it’s time for their bosses to decide whether or not they deserve a pay raise.”
McCaskill says she wants Congress to be accountable for how it’s spending government money.
The legislation, however, does not say how future pay raises will be given.
“I’m more than happy to talk with anyone about what system should replace it. Frankly my focus right now is not on how to get a pay raise, it’s how to prevent pay raises to members in Congress.”
The bill does have co-sponsors, one of whom is Senator John McCain, a republican from Arizona.
McCaskill says this bill is part of a larger effort to clean up the way the federal government works. Past efforts by McCaskill have been to end earmark spending, and to stop senators from holding legislation or nominations without revealing who they are. She says the Senate could vote to end this practice of “secret holding” as early as this week.
KSMU News called the offices of Senator Roy Blunt and Representative Billy Long. They were not available for comment on McCaskill’s proposed changes.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.