House members race each other to freeze, cut congressional pay

"I do not support a pay raise for Members of Congress," Yoder said on his Facebook page. "Washington needs to demonstrate spending restraint and responsibility. I have introduced legislation to cut Members [sic] pay before and I will do it again."

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) co-sponsored Yoder's bill.

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Five other bills would not go as far as cutting member pay, but would freeze lawmaker salaries. The bills were introduced just days after many members of the 112th Congress were outraged that President Obama signed an executive order ending a federal pay freeze.

That move would have increased congressional salaries by about $1,000, although it was later blocked by language in the "fiscal cliff" legislation that passed both the House and Senate.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) has proposed H.R. 196, which would end the current system that allows for automatic pay increases for members of Congress. Like Yoder, Latta said these automatic increases are unwarranted while unemployment remains high.

"As our nation faces a crippling national debt and trillion dollar deficits, the pay raise for Members of Congress should not be automatic but rather any attempt to increase Member pay should be transparent to American taxpayers and receive a recorded vote," he said.

Latta's bill has some Democratic co-sponsorship, as does a bill from Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) that would prevent any pay increase for members of the 113th Congress. Fitzpatrick said his bill, H.R. 54, is one of many he just introduced aimed at restoring people's faith in Congress and the government.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) also has a bill ending automatic pay hikes, H.R. 134, that he introduced with another Democrat and two Republicans.

Two additional Republican bills would prevent any pay increase for members of Congress following years in which the government spends more than it receives in tax revenue. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) proposed H.R. 167, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) proposed H.R. 108, both of which are meant to add pressure on Congress to eliminate the budget deficit.

"Congress should not get a pay raise until it shows the discipline necessary to balance the budget," Buchanan said last week. "Every family in America has to live within its means, why should the federal government be any different? Until Congress gets spending under control it doesn’t deserve a salary hike."

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