Congress Mulls Salary Freeze

Both sides look to gain political capital in putting off raise
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2009 9:50 AM CST
David Vitter, R-La, is the only senator so far to float a bill freezing congressional salaries. About 80 members of Congress have sponsored similar moves.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s freeze on top White House salaries has put pressure on Congress to do the same for itself, reports Politico, but as with much on the Hill, that’s a lofty idea mired in the mud of political reality. Even those who support a pay freeze are scrambling to maximize political capital gained from enacting it, reports Politico.

The public supports holding congressional salaries at $174,000, as do many younger senators and House members. But more seasoned lawmakers point to the expenses of their second, DC-area homes and the prohibitions against outside income, even going as far as to hint that higher salaries could curtail corruption. Still, 80 House members have already signed on to sponsor pay-freeze bills.