Despite the efforts of Republican Sen. David Vitter, it looks like automatic Congressional pay raises, first instituted in 1989, are not going away anytime soon.
Vitter, a Louisianan whose personal issues have threatened his political career, pushed to add a ban on the automatic raises to the $410 billion spending bill signed into law this week.
With the economy in turmoil, members of Congress are particularly sensitive to the pitfalls of publicly backing automatic pay raises for themselves. At the same time, they know that if they ban the automatic raises, they will be forced, in the future, to hold a vote every time they want their salaries to go up. And there is never a good time for headlines about relatively rich public officials deciding to give themselves more taxpayer money.
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