Congressman Bobby Bright co-sponsored legislation to cut pay for Senators and Congressman. The Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act calls for a 5% cut in pay for members of the House and Senate beginning in 2011. Additionally, the bill would block any automatic increases in congressional pay. If passed, H.R. 4720 would be the first cut in Congressional pay since the middle of the Great Depression in 1933. In 2009, the first bill co-sponsored by Congressman Bright ultimately prevented the automatic Congressional pay raise in 2010. He has again co-sponsored legislation that would prevent the pay raise in 2011.
"Members of Congress are already paid more than enough, and I see no reason that our pay shouldn't be reduced," Bright said. "Balancing budgets and cutting spending will require us to take steps both large and small, and a good start would be to cut our own salaries. When people across the country are having trouble making ends meet, Congress should not be immune to the cutbacks experienced by many of our constituents. This action is long overdue, and I urge my colleagues to take the bold step of cutting our own pay."
Congressman Bright has returned at least $25,000 of his 2009 MRA (Members Representational Allowance) to the federal Treasury.* That means Bright followed and operated well-within the budget allocated to every Member of Congress. Additionally, on Tuesday Congressman Bright introduced a Constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. H.J.Res. 78 has already gained 36 co-sponsors.
"Alabamians live within a budget and cutback when necessary," Bright said. "The federal government and Members of Congress should operate in the same manner."
The Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act, sponsored by Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), currently has 21 bipartisan co-sponsors
*Final numbers for 2009 are not available yet.