House looks to block congressional pay hike, stop 'milk cliff' on Tuesday

The House on Tuesday is expected to consider new legislation that would block a congressional pay raise made possible by President Obama's decision to lift a federal pay freeze starting in March.

Members will consider a bill from Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), who was one of several members who opposed Obama's Executive Order as more excessive spending at a time of fiscal crisis.

"Lifting the pay freeze for Members of Congress at a time when we are working to restore fiscal health to the federal government is unacceptable, and I will work to prevent it," Fitzpatrick said Monday. "For the past four years, many private sector workers have seen their salaries reduced and small businesses have tightened their belts to ensure our economy remains afloat in these difficult times.

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"Families are making sacrifices to make ends meet, and Congress must follow their lead."

Fitzpatrick's bill would prevent rank-and-file members from getting a $900 pay increase. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate leaders would get another $1,000 under Obama's Executive Order.

The House is also expected to consider a bill to extend current dairy programs for another 30 days, to avoid a possible spike in milk prices. The bill, from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), is one of three options Republicans prepared to avoid this problem.

Without passing some bill, current law would expire and revert back to a decades-old law that would require the government to buy milk at inflated prices, which many fear could double the price of milk for consumers.

The House is scheduled to meet at noon Tuesday, and could take up several other suspension bills, in addition to possible work on fiscal cliff-related legislation.

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