What is House Bill H.R. 179?
This bill would reduce the salaries paid to members of Congress by five percent (5%) across the board. It would also eliminate the automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) which members of Congress receive every year by law unless Congress votes to reject it.
As explained by Wikipedia, COLAs can be understood as:
"Employment contracts, pension benefits, and government entitlements such as Social Security can be tied to a cost-of-living index, typically to the consumer price index (CPI). A COLA adjusts salaries based on changes in a cost-of-living index. Salaries are typically adjusted annually."
Salaries for members of Congress are currently pegged at $174,000 per year, with annual Cost of Living Adjustments that result in a 2.8% raise every year. The average household income in the U.S. was over $60,000 in 2004, while the median household income at that time around $43,000.
Taxpayers, members of Congress and their families, staffers, and the federal budget.
Cost of House Bill H.R. 179
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.
Congressional approval ratings typically ebb and flow over the years, reflecting the changes in the political balance of power, but in recent years they have hit historic lows. Congress’ approval rating is currently at 16% with 80% of those polled by Gallup disapproving of the work that Congress is doing.
Sponsoring Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) Press Release
The Kansas City Kansan
The Hill (Opposing Context)