Congress, federal workers to get raise

Members of Congress will be getting a small pay increase next year. 

Under an executive order issued by President Obama on Thursday, members of Congress will join federal workers in seeing their pay rise by 0.5 percent after March 27.

Congressmen and senators make $174,000 a year and will see an extra $900 in their annual pay packages before taxes next year.

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Vice President Biden will also get a raise, and take home $231,900 before taxes next year.

The order is issued as Obama and Congress work to reach a deal on the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts set to begin in January. 

Unless Congress acts within the next few days, more than $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts will take effect in January, and the fiscal shock would likely cause a new recession. 

By law, Congress cannot get a larger increase in salary than the adjustment given to federal workers. 

Obama proposed that workers get a 0.5 percent pay increase last year and wanted it to take effect on Jan. 1. In September, the president agreed with Congress to delay the pay increase at least until the expiration of a continuing resolution funding the government at the end of March.

Federal workers have been laboring under a two-year pay freeze ordered by Obama in Dec. 2010 to try to reduce spending. Congress has not seen a pay increase since 2009.