Monday, November 10, 2014

Tweet

[IWS] CRS: SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: RECENT ACTIONS AND HISTORICAL TABLES [27 October 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/iws/news-bureau/support.html

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables

Ida A. Brudnick, Specialist on the Congress

October 27, 2014

http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/97-1011.pdf

[full-text, 20 pages]

 

Summary

Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay. Prior to

1969, Congress did so by enacting specific legislation. From 1789 through 1968, Congress raised

its pay 22 times using this procedure. Specific legislation may still be used to raise Member pay,

as it was most recently in 1982, 1983, 1989, and 1991; but two other methods—including an

automatic annual adjustment procedure and a commission process—are now also available.

The Ethics Reform Act of 1989 established the current automatic annual adjustment formula,

which is based on changes in private sector wages as measured by the Employment Cost Index

(ECI). The adjustment is automatic unless denied statutorily, although the percentage may not

exceed the percentage base pay increase for General Schedule (GS) employees.

 

In the past, Member pay has been frozen in two ways: (1) directly, through legislation that freezes

salaries for Members but not other federal employees, and (2) indirectly, through broader pay

freeze legislation that covers Members and other specified categories of federal employees.

 

Members of Congress last received a pay adjustment in January 2009. At that time, their salary

was increased 2.8%, to $174,000 from $169,300. A provision in the FY2009 Omnibus

Appropriations Act prohibited any pay adjustment for 2010. Under the pay adjustment formula,

Members were originally scheduled to receive an adjustment in January 2010 of 2.1%, although

this would have been revised downward automatically to 1.5% to match the GS base pay

adjustment. Members next were scheduled to receive a 0.9% pay adjustment in 2011. The pay

adjustment was prohibited by P.L. 111-165 (enacted May 14, 2010). Additionally, P.L. 111-322

(enacted on December 22, 2010) prevented any adjustment in GS base pay before December 31,

2012. Since the percentage adjustment in Member pay may not exceed the percentage adjustment

in the base pay of GS employees, Member pay was also frozen during this period. If not limited

by GS pay, Member pay could have been adjusted by 1.3% in 2012. The ECI formula established

a maximum potential pay adjustment in January 2013 of 1.1%. The Continuing Appropriations

Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175, enacted September 28, 2012), extended the freeze on GS pay

rates for the duration of this continuing resolution, which also extended the Member freeze since

the percentage adjustment in Member pay may not exceed the percentage adjustment in GS base

pay. Subsequently, Member pay for 2013 was further frozen in the American Taxpayer Relief Act

of 2012 (P.L. 112-240, enacted on January 2, 2013). The maximum potential 2014 pay adjustment

of 1.2%, or $2,100, was denied by P.L. 113-46 (enacted October 17, 2013).

 

The maximum potential January 2015 Member pay adjustment under the ECI formula is 1.6%, or

$2,800. The President proposed a 1.0% increase in the base pay of GS employees, which would

automatically limit any Member pay adjustment to 1.0%. The House-passed and Senate-reported

versions of the FY2015 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (H.R. 4487) contain a provision

prohibiting any Member pay adjustment, although no further action has been taken on that bill.

 

This report contains information on the pay procedure and recent adjustments. It also contains

historical information on the rate of pay for Members of Congress since 1789; the adjustments

projected by the Ethics Reform Act as compared to actual adjustments in Member pay; details on

past legislation enacted with language prohibiting the annual pay adjustment; and Member pay in

constant and current dollars since 1992.

 

Contents

Member Pay: Constitutional Background, Source of Appropriations, and Current Status .............. 1

Methods for Member Pay Adjustment ............................................................................................. 1

Member Pay: Proposals and Actions in the 113th Congress ............................................................. 2

Linking Salaries to Passage of a Concurrent Resolution on the Budget: Votes in the

113th Congress ........................................................................................................................ 3

Linking Salaries to the Debt Limit: Votes in the 113th Congress ............................................... 4

January 2015 Member Pay Adjustment Projection and Recent Action ........................................... 4

January 2014 Member Pay Adjustment Denied ............................................................................... 5

Member Pay: Proposals and Actions in the 112th Congress ............................................................. 6

Actions Related to Member Pay During a Lapse in Appropriations ......................................... 6

Additional Legislation Receiving Floor Action but Not Enacted .............................................. 7

January 2013 Member Pay Adjustment Delayed and Then Denied ................................................ 7

Partial Year Pay Freeze Enacted ................................................................................................ 8

Executive Order Issued and Subsequent Pay Freeze Enacted ................................................... 8

January 2011 and January 2012 Member Pay Adjustments Denied ................................................ 9

January 2010 Member Pay Adjustment Denied ............................................................................. 10

Historical Information and Explanation of Tables ......................................................................... 10

 

Figures

Figure 1. Salary for Members of Congress: Current and Constant Dollars, 1992-2014 ................ 17

 

Tables

Table 1. Salary Adjustments for Members of Congress Since 1789 .............................................. 11

Table 2. Member Pay Projected vs. Actual Adjustments Since 1992 ............................................ 14

Table 3. Legislative Vehicles Denying or Delaying Pay Adjustments, Enacted Dates, and Pay Language .............................. 15

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 17

Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................... 17

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?