Times are certainly tough, and while the President signed the stimulus bill into law yesterday, we certainly have an uphill battle to climb in terms of employment and holding onto existing jobs. However, some members of Congress still expect an automatic pay raise in 2010.
HR 156, the Stop the Congressional Pay Raise Act introduced in the House by Representative Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), will prevent law makers from receiving a $4,700 pay increase this year. You can see the list of 109 co-sponsors here. Note how only one member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (Congressman Cuellar, D-TX) is on this list! This list of co-sponsors might not be completely current, as two weeks ago, it was reported that Congressman John Salazar (D-CO) would also support this legislation to prevent members of congress from receiving pay raises through the end of 2010.
I don’t think that any congressional member should be receiving raises while the economy teeters on edge, especially Latino congressional members who represent people who are among the hardest hit. I want to thank Congressmen Cuellar and Salazar for going on record in supporting the halt on the pay raises, but I want to encourage you to tell the rest of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to get on board with the belt tightening. We should be in this together, and the Caucus could take a real stand by showing us that they will stand in solidarity with working Americans. Let’s see if they will forgo some of their comfort and security to stand with us!