Skip to comments.Congress won’t face pay cut in sequester
Posted on 03/10/2013 4:35:21 AM PDT by SkyPilot
U.S. lawmakers wont have their $174,000 salaries affected by across-the-board government spending cuts going into effect this month, but theres little clarity about how the bank accounts of senators and representatives were spared in the so-called sequester.
The spending cuts hit every budget account with a few exceptions that were written into the law that set up the federal budgeting process more than two decades ago, known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. Compensation for the president is specifically exempted, but theres no mention of pay for members of Congress.
So how did lawmakers pay escape the axe? Turns out thats a mystery with conflicting explanations that lead deep into a rabbit hole of federal budgeting arcana.
The Office of Management and Budget, the agency in charge of executive branch money matters, hasnt said how it determined that lawmakers salaries would continue to flow from the Treasury unscathed.
The issue of lawmakers pay has been politically fraught since the founding of the nation. A constitutional amendment limiting Congresss ability to change its own pay was originally passed as part of the Bill of Rights in 1789, but was not ratified until 1992. The 27th Amendment prevents changes in congressional salaries from taking effect until an election has occurred.
Several news outlets, including CNN and Politico, have cited the 27th Amendment as the explanation for why lawmakers pay has been unscathed. But the 2012 election took place after the sequester was signed into law and before it took effect.
An OMB official said the amendment is not the reason lawmaker salaries are intact, adding only that they are not subject to sequester and never have been.
The agencys report on the sequester, required by the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, lists lawmaker salaries as exempt but theres no reason provided...
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.washingtonpost.com ...
well, they should have pay cut. They plus other two branches of gov’t should suffer like the people do. My reasoning: that will motivate them
That would be a rather boring story, but true. The salaries can’t be touched because of the 27th amendment.
Not to my satisfaction. If there was specific language in the bill to enact a cut on the salaries that would be true, but the language wasn't there.
Sequestration began in the Obama White House (OMB Director Jack Lew). Ryan, Boehner, Cantor, Pelosi, Hoyer, all of them bought off on it. Boehner said he got "98% of what I wanted" with the Faustian bargain.
It is the Republican leadership now thinks Sequestration is a "victory." To the US military it isn't. It is a betrayal. Irony of ironies, it is the Democrats and Obama who want to end it - not the Republicans.
The solution is a compromise akin to the Simpson-Bowles Commission.
That means tax rate reform and entitlement reform. The military is 18% of the budget and is assaulted with 50% of the Sequestration cuts. It is an obscenity.
If the Republicans in Congress don't unscrew this mess, they will lost the House in 2014. Mark my words.
If that is the case, then then the "No Budget No Pay" provision the Republicans in the House passed is unconstitutional, isn't it?
Funny, Boehner and Ryan are crowing about that one. Furloughs of the Defense Dept, FBI agents, Air Traffic Controllers, nurses, etc? Not so much. They just don't care.
The salaries of Federal employees cannot be reduced by law either, but Sequestration takes their money anyway under the furloughs. Congress should all be subject to the same pay cuts they are mandating for Federal workers. I appreciate the "not to my satisfaction" complaint you have. Most of life is not to my satisfaction either. However, read that article in the Washington Post again.
It is clear to me that Congressional pay was fenced off from Sequestration because if they included their own pay being cut it never would have passed.
The Republicans cannot argue with a straight face that this is a violation of the 27th Amendment, but then brag about "No Budget No Pay."
They are worse than hypocrites in this matter.
Correct. But it was pointless for a number of reasons Representatives and Senators aren't in it for the paychecks, they're in it for the graft, which will continue to flow like the Niagara. They should have included staff salaries, that would have had an effect. But they did not because they are clever bastards.
But it is actually a point of "pride" for both sides. They think of themselves as superior human beings.
But it is good enough for the Navy shipyard worker, or the military TRICARE physician assistant, or the NASA employee.
And Ryan and Boehner have announced they have "moved on" and don't care about the cuts to the military anymore.
That's mighty big of them.