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Congress won’t face pay cut in sequester
Washington Post ^ | 6 Mar 13 | T.W. Farnam

Posted on 03/10/2013 4:35:21 AM PDT by SkyPilot

U.S. lawmakers won’t have their $174,000 salaries affected by across-the-board government spending cuts going into effect this month, but there’s 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 there’s no mention of pay for members of Congress.

So how did lawmakers’ pay escape the axe? Turns out that’s 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, hasn’t 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 Congress’s 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 agency’s report on the sequester, required by the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, lists lawmaker salaries as “exempt” but there’s no reason provided...

(Excerpt) Read more at articles.washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: congress; furlough; lawmakerssalary; paycut; sequester
Gramm-Rudman says that any individual employee’s salary that is set by law, like standard federal pay scales, can’t be cut because of a sequester. But that provision doesn’t explain why a whole class of people, like the member of Congress, couldn’t see an across-the-board pay reduction. The OMB official said Gramm-Rudman simply doesn’t apply to lawmakers’ salaries at all due to the specific way in which they are funded.

Meanwhile, for the low paid GS-3s and GS-4s out there:

So how did lawmakers’ pay escape the axe? Turns out that’s a mystery with conflicting explanations that lead deep into a rabbit hole of federal budgeting arcana.

Glad the protected class is doing so well.


1 posted on 03/10/2013 4:35:21 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

Why do they write these stories instead of reading the Constitution. Congressional pay cannot be changed until an election has intervened.


2 posted on 03/10/2013 4:38:36 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: cotton1706
Congress is exempt from Obamacare too—so look for incumbents to fight even dirtier to hold their seats in order to stay away from the Death Panels...which, because of their diseased state both morally and physically, they could not survive.
3 posted on 03/10/2013 4:42:54 AM PDT by Happy Rain ("American patriots are dangerous animals--they defend themselves when attacked.")
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To: SkyPilot; Happy Rain
so look for incumbents to fight even dirtier to hold their seats in order to stay away from the Death Panels

At least now we know why the drones are taking to the air. The Death Panels decide who, when and where.

4 posted on 03/10/2013 4:46:45 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: cotton1706

“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.”


5 posted on 03/10/2013 4:47:39 AM PDT by Balata
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To: cotton1706

As if anyone in the Devil’s Closet gives a damn. Matter of fact, the fed gov, all three branches, has become the new Devil’s Triangle. Whoever gets caught in there stays in there and what does emerge is nothing we recognize.


6 posted on 03/10/2013 4:50:15 AM PDT by MestaMachine (Sometimes the smartest man in the room is standing in the midst of imbeciles.)
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To: cotton1706

You yourself posted without reading the article. The explanation is there.


7 posted on 03/10/2013 4:52:00 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: MestaMachine

I wrote my Congressman about this. I received a form letter reply telling me to take a tour of Capitol Hill someday. Really.


8 posted on 03/10/2013 4:54:12 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot; MestaMachine
SOP ... truth is Mesta is correct. It has been SOP for almost longer than can remember.
9 posted on 03/10/2013 4:55:54 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: SkyPilot

A veritable palace built to house crooks, scammers and schemers wasn’t at all what the Founders had in mind.


10 posted on 03/10/2013 5:01:23 AM PDT by MestaMachine (Sometimes the smartest man in the room is standing in the midst of imbeciles.)
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To: SkyPilot

Would be willing to bet the SC would state this is covered under the “commerce clause”


11 posted on 03/10/2013 5:04:14 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: no-to-illegals

The government has become a leech, a parasite on the body of this nation. Time to call Orkin.


12 posted on 03/10/2013 5:05:18 AM PDT by MestaMachine (Sometimes the smartest man in the room is standing in the midst of imbeciles.)
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To: MestaMachine

Too late ... Orkin is spelled d-r-o-n-e


13 posted on 03/10/2013 5:07:04 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: SkyPilot

So how many letters have you written to the Obama Administration and Congress protesting this?


14 posted on 03/10/2013 5:21:36 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (Fighting Obama without Boehner & McConnell is like going deer hunting without your accordion)
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To: cotton1706

The sequester is the work of the zer0 regime, not the congress and the regime is where cuts should come, Not congress.


15 posted on 03/10/2013 5:32:05 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: SkyPilot

IRRELEVANT.

Their REAL money comes from graft and insider trading, of course. They can skip this “pay” or salary stuff and hardly miss it at all.


16 posted on 03/10/2013 5:50:20 AM PDT by Flintlock ("The British are coming" to TAKE OUR GUNS!--Paul Revere)
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To: no-to-illegals
splains why Sarah Palin is out of sight.
17 posted on 03/10/2013 5:53:47 AM PDT by Happy Rain ("American patriots are dangerous animals--they defend themselves when attacked.")
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To: Flintlock

Bingo:

The man with the real answer.

Nobody spends the money these people spend to get a job that pays a paltry $174,000 dollars a year.

Nancy Pelosi didnt get rich off her salary, but off of the laws she made and benefitted from.

Half of them belong in Orange jumpsuits and the other half should be watched closely.


18 posted on 03/10/2013 7:09:36 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: SkyPilot

You are showing a startling lack of respect for America’s Ubermenschen!

Queen Pelosi is Not amused.

AgencyPersons are reading everything!

They know about your respect deficit and are eager to ‘help you’.

;-)


19 posted on 03/10/2013 7:21:06 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."..)
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To: SkyPilot
Bwahahaha!....color me surprised!

FMCDH(BITS)

20 posted on 03/10/2013 8:45:00 AM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: SkyPilot

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


21 posted on 03/10/2013 8:53:52 AM PDT by ncpatriot
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To: cotton1706

That would be a rather boring story, but true. The salaries can’t be touched because of the 27th amendment.


22 posted on 03/10/2013 9:01:01 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I am a dissident. Will you join me? My name is John....)
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To: SkyPilot
You yourself posted without reading the article. The explanation is there.

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.

23 posted on 03/10/2013 9:04:39 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I am a dissident. Will you join me? My name is John....)
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To: COBOL2Java
I am under no illusions as to the wickedness and evil of the Obama administration. They are not accepting my collect phone calls either - that isn't the issue.

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.

24 posted on 03/10/2013 12:10:56 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: Cyber Liberty
The salaries can’t be touched because of the 27th amendment.

If that is the case, then then the "No Budget No Pay" provision the Republicans in the House passed is unconstitutional, isn't it?

http://www.christianpost.com/news/is-no-budget-no-pay-unconstitutional-88794/

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.

25 posted on 03/10/2013 12:18:42 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
If that is the case, then then the "No Budget No Pay" provision the Republicans in the House passed is unconstitutional, isn't it?

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.

26 posted on 03/10/2013 1:14:53 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I am a dissident. Will you join me? My name is John....)
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To: Cyber Liberty
Very true.

But it is actually a point of "pride" for both sides. They think of themselves as superior human beings.

Pelosi: Pay cut undermines ‘dignity’ of congressional employment

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.

27 posted on 03/10/2013 1:29:00 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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