A Republican and Democrat have put forward legislation that would rescind the automatic pay increase lawmakers are slated to receive in 2011.

Reps. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced a bill late Thursday night that would freeze the automatic cost of living increase for Members in 2011, citing the ailing economy.

“With unemployment high and so many families struggling to make ends meet, it is unconscionable to think that Congress is considering giving itself a pay raise,” said Mitchell in a statement.


Congress froze 2010 automatic pay increase earlier this year, after more than a dozen lawmakers, including Mitchell and Paul, had put forward legislation similar to the bill introduced this week.

“Turning down our automatic pay increase is the least Congress could do to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and solidarity with our constituents in these tough economic times,” said Paul in a statement on Friday. “Much more needs to be done to reduce the size and expense of government, but passing this legislation would be a start.”

Congress has abided by a process approved in 1989, which stipulates that lawmakers will automatically receive a cost of living pay increase every January unless members vote specifically to reject the raise – a politically precarious position.