Tuesday, January 30, 2007

COLA Pay Hike Blocked For Lawmakers, But We Can't Say By Whom

As Breitbart accurately words it, "Republicans Block Congressional Pay Hike."

As Time ambiguously words it, "Congressional Pay Hike Blocked."

No matter the wording of the headline, the story is the same. Republicans are making the Democrats pay for their smarmy campaign retorhic:

When Democrats blasted Republicans last fall for taking annual congressional pay raises while blocking numerous attempts to raise the minimum wage, it was an effective campaign tactic. Democrats vowed not to accept the annual cost-of-living hike until Congress increases the minimum wage.

But Republicans angered over the political attacks are unwilling to allow Democrats to reinstate the so-called members' COLA, forcing Democratic leaders to scuttle the 1.7 percent pay hike for the entire year.

"There will be no COLA adjustment," said a disappointed Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House's No. 2 Democrat, on Tuesday.

Hoyer has for years played a central role in finessing the ticklish issue of lawmakers' pay, working cozily with GOP leaders to make sure an annual pay-related vote went smoothly.

Lawmakers' pay will be frozen at $165,200 for this year in the dispute, in which Democrats violated a yearslong understanding that the competing parties would not use the pay raise issue in campaign ads.

I hope our lawmakers will be able to survive on their measly $165,200 salaries.