Automatic pay raises for Congress allow lawmakers to boost their pay without having to go on record in a vote. Ending this practice and putting lawmakers on record about their pay raises would make Congress more accountable to the public for what it pays itself and deter unwarranted pay raises.
It’s expensive to be a member of Congress. In addition to maintaining a residence in their district, most members have homes in D.C.; they also have to routinely travel between D.C. and their home districts. Pay raises help ensure that serving in Congress is accessible to members of lesser means.