Friday, 01 October 2010 22:48
BLACK CANYON CITY, AZ -- Representative Ann Kirkpatrick sharply criticized Congressional leadership today for adjourning for a six-week recess without holding a vote on her measure to cut Congressional pay by five percent.
After dropping a check for five percent of her own pay into the mailbox at the U.S. Post Office in Black Canyon City--a monthly contribution of $870 to help pay down the public debt--Rep. Kirkpatrick renewed her commitment to making House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer stop the delays. She called on them to bring a vote on the Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act to the floor before the 111th Congress ends in January.
Her statement was as follows:
"Since I introduced legislation in March that would cut congressional pay for the first time in 77 years, the American people have only become more and more frustrated with Washington. After more than a decade of irresponsible fiscal decisions by both parties, they are fed up with the never-ending growth of the federal debt -- and they have been calling on their elected officials to do something, anything, to show that they are listening.
"But still, Congress refuses to take action and demonstrate they realize that they need to start making some tough choices to get our fiscal house in order. My bill is just one small step towards restoring fiscal discipline -- recognizing that those who got us in this mess can't ask others to cut back before they make some sacrifices of their own. It is long overdue, and it's hard to imagine who could oppose it. Yet the legislation has been shut out -- it has not even received a hearing, let alone a vote.
"Time is running out to pass this critical measure during the 111th Congress. Congressional leadership must stop ignoring the voices of the public now and start making the case that they can be trusted to repair the damage -- by voting to cut their own pay before they adjourn in January."
The Congresswoman has been fighting for the Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act for months as part of her work to get government spending under control. The effort has earned overwhelming support across the country, with a recent independent poll showing that 75% of Americans want Members to cut their own pay until the budget is balanced.
But despite the public's backing, Democratic leadership has refused to even give the bill a hearing -- let alone schedule a vote. Rep. Kirkpatrick sees the legislation as the right thing to do for taxpayers who are taking pay cuts themselves and argues that it is a necessary first step to getting our fiscal house in order.
Rep. Kirkpatrick is putting her money where her mouth is by returning five percent of her own salary to the taxpayers by helping to pay down the federal debt.
In addition to the poll, the Congresswoman has heard from hundreds of folks across the country urging her to push through the pay cut bill, and the legislation has been endorsed by the National Taxpayers Union and The Senior Citizens League. Rep. Kirkpatrick has also brought on new co-sponsors as the public has made its views known -- despite the lack of leadership support she now has 34, more than for any previous pay cut measure.