McConnell opposes push for lawmaker pay raise

McConnell opposes push for lawmaker pay raise
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he doesn't support a bipartisan effort in the House to give lawmakers a pay raise for the first time in a decade, dimming the chances of the proposal going forward.

"We’re not doing a COLA adjustment in the Senate," McConnell said in a statement, referring to a cost-of-living adjustment.

McConnell's opposition makes it all the less likely that a bipartisan deal can be reached to give lawmakers a cost-of-living adjustment for the first time in a decade.

House GOP leaders have expressed openness to the pay raise, despite the outright opposition from their Senate counterparts.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week EU official in Canada says he feels 'at home' there because no one was shouting 'send him back' MORE (R-Calif.) reiterated his support for the pay raise idea on Thursday, but acknowledged that McConnell's opposition makes the chances slim that a deal could be reached. 

"Well, my position on this is the same. I do not believe Congress should only be a pace for millionaires. Seeing what Leader McConnell has said in his opposition, it does complicate the path for this to become law. I don't want to pre-judge the outcome here for the House, but it could put in doubt that that becomes law," McCarthy said at a press conference in the Capitol. Under a decades-old law, members of Congress are set to receive annual cost-of-living adjustments unless they move to block them, as they have since 2009.

House Democratic leaders originally planned to consider a spending bill for legislative branch operations this month that would allow lawmakers to receive a $4,500 pay raise in January. But they ultimately pulled it from the House floor last week following pushback from swing-district Democrats wary of the optics.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (D-Md.), who has been pushing to give lawmakers a cost-of-living adjustment for years, said he hopes to complete consideration of all spending bills by the end of this month.

Rank-and-file members of Congress currently make $174,000 annually. Members of leadership earn more, with the Speaker making $223,500 and the House minority and majority leaders making $193,400.

Proponents of giving lawmakers a cost-of-living adjustment argue it's necessary to raise pay caps for staff, who can't make more than their bosses.