Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly supported H.R. 5146, which would eliminate pay raises for Members of Congress in 2011. The measure passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 402 to 15. Donnelly is a co-author of this bill that blocks lawmakers' annual cost-of-living increase and keeps salaries at their 2009 level. A similar measure blocking the annual increase in pay for 2010 was successful.
"In these challenging economic times, I think it's unreasonable for Members of Congress to give themselves a pay raise," said Donnelly. "I've met with many Hoosiers in north central Indiana who are looking for work or living paycheck to paycheck while CEOs cut jobs and collect excessive salaries and bonuses. With our economy--and working families--still recovering from the great recession, I am glad the House joined me today in blocking the automatic pay raise."
Congressman Donnelly has consistently opposed this annual increase, having voted against all annual pay increases since coming to Congress. When an attempt to block the 2009 pay increase for Members of Congress failed, Congressman Donnelly returned his raise to the Treasury.
Unless Congress takes specific action to block it, Members of Congress automatically receive an annual pay increase based on a law that took effect in 1989. The bill blocking this automatic pay raise passed by the House today is now pending before the Senate.