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Pueblo Chieftain - Lawmakers don't want Obama's raises

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President Barack Obama could be accused of killing his critics with kindness.

As Senate Democrats and House Republicans battled over tax legislation and keeping the U.S. economy from going over a "fiscal cliff" last week, Obama issued an executive order giving lawmakers and senior U.S. officials a small pay raise for 2013 -- the last thing many lawmakers wanted when arguing over how to cut federal spending.

Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., joined a list of bipartisan sponsors this week on legislation that would block that pay raise for Congress over the next two years. Both the House and Senate would have to approve HR54 -- and Obama sign it -- for the ban to take effect, but all those things could happen.

"Most people in my district are not getting pay raises in this economy. In fact, they're doing everything they can just to pay the bills and keep their families afloat," Tipton said in a statement Monday. "Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. President."

The Obama executive order would raise congressional salaries one-half percent. Currently, Tipton and other House members receive $174,000 a year. House Speaker John Boehner receives $223,500. A one-half percent raise for Tipton would mean an additional $870 a year.

When the House and Senate reached its hard-fought compromise on tax rates on Jan. 1, it included a ban on House and Senate pay raises, but only through 2013.

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