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[IWS] CRS: SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: CONGRESSIONAL VOTES, 1990-2014 [27 October 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

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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

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Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2014

Ida A. Brudnick, Specialist on the Congress

October 27, 2014

http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/97-615.pdf

[full-text, 34 pages]

 

Summary

The U.S. Constitution, in Article I, Section 6, authorizes compensation for Members of Congress

“ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.” Throughout American

history, Congress has relied on three different methods in adjusting salaries for Members. Specific

legislation was last used to provide increases in 1990 and 1991. It was the only method used by

Congress for many years.

 

The second method, under which annual adjustments took effect automatically unless

disapproved by Congress, was established in 1975. From 1975 to 1989, these annual adjustments

were based on the rate of annual comparability increases given to the General Schedule federal

employees. This method was changed by the 1989 Ethics Act to require that the annual

adjustment be determined by a formula based on certain elements of the Employment Cost Index

(ECI). Under this revised process, annual adjustments were accepted 13 times (scheduled for

January 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009) and

denied 11 times (scheduled for January 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012,

2013, and 2014).

 

Since January 2009, the salary for Members of Congress has been $174,000. Subsequent

adjustments were denied by P.L. 111-8 (enacted March 11, 2009), P.L. 111-165 (May 14, 2010),

P.L. 111-322 (December 22, 2010), P.L. 112-175 (September 28, 2012), P.L. 112-240 (January

2, 2013), and P.L. 113-46 (October 17, 2013). A provision in the House-passed version of the

FY2015 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4487, passed on May 1, 2014) would

prohibit the scheduled January 2015 adjustment. In the 113th Congress, bills have been introduced

to alter the adjustment procedure, reduce the pay of Members of Congress, extend the current pay

freeze, prohibit pay during a government shutdown, and apply any sequester to Member pay.

 

A third method for adjusting Member pay is congressional action pursuant to recommendations

from the President, based on the recommendations of the Citizens’ Commission on Public Service

and Compensation established in the 1989 Ethics Reform Act. Although the Citizens’

Commission should have convened in 1993, it did not and has not met since then.

 

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

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

on enacted legislation with language prohibiting the automatic annual pay adjustment; and

Member pay in constant and current dollars since 1992, see CRS Report 97-1011, Salaries of

Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables, by Ida A. Brudnick.

 

Members of Congress only receive salaries during the terms for which they are elected. Former

Members of Congress may be eligible for retirement benefits. For additional information on

retirement benefit requirements, contributions, and formulas, see CRS Report RL30631,

Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress, by Katelin P. Isaacs.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Source of Member Pay Appropriations and Relationship to Appropriations Bills .................... 1

Application of the 27th Amendment to the Annual Adjustments ............................................... 2

Most Recent Developments ............................................................................................................. 2

113th Congress Legislation ........................................................................................................ 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 ........................................................................ 4

112th Congress Legislation ........................................................................................................ 5

January 2013 Member Pay Adjustment Delayed and Then Denied .......................................... 6

January 2011 and January 2012 Member Pay Adjustment Denied ........................................... 7

Previous Actions and Votes by Year ................................................................................................ 8

2010 ........................................................................................................................................... 9

2009 ........................................................................................................................................... 9

2008 ......................................................................................................................................... 10

2007 ......................................................................................................................................... 12

2006 ......................................................................................................................................... 14

2005 ......................................................................................................................................... 16

2004 ......................................................................................................................................... 16

2003 ......................................................................................................................................... 18

2002 ......................................................................................................................................... 19

2001 ......................................................................................................................................... 20

2000 ......................................................................................................................................... 21

1999 ......................................................................................................................................... 22

1998 ......................................................................................................................................... 24

1997 ......................................................................................................................................... 25

1996 ......................................................................................................................................... 26

1995 ......................................................................................................................................... 26

1994 ......................................................................................................................................... 28

1993 ......................................................................................................................................... 29

1992 ......................................................................................................................................... 29

1991 ......................................................................................................................................... 29

1990 ......................................................................................................................................... 30

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 31

Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................... 31

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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