During my tenure in Congress, I have consistently voted against pay raise proposals. While I do believe there are many of my colleagues who work hard for the American public and who deserve a raise, I voted against the most recent proposal because Congress as an institution is still undeserving, based on both job performance and the underhanded manner in which these proposals are invariably enacted.
In every job I have had, save my present job of congressman, a raise in pay has been based on job performance. But Congress does not do its job. At a bare minimum, Congress has yet to keep its collective promise to live up to even last year's budget "agreement." How can a Congress that refuses to balance the federal budget be deserving of a raise in pay?
Typically Congress ties its pay raises to those for other officials who do their jobs, like federal judges. Congress seems compelled to link a pay raise to another, more justifiable piece of legislation--such as ethics reform. But the idea that the taxpayer should pay congressmen money to improve their ethical conduct is preposterous!
The system for increasing congressional pay must be changed. You can rest assured that I will continue to fight for real reform of the pay raise process for the duration of my tenure in Congress.
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