Of course they do. Here’s a better idea: Ask the Clinton’s for an interest-free loan. They have a couple hundred million stashed all over the place. Or maybe just set up their own shell company to hide their bribes.
House Democrats are defending Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (Md.) call for a lawmaker pay raise, saying he’s right to warn about Congress becoming dominated by the wealthy.
Rank-and-file members said people should pay attention to the second-ranking House Democrat, calling him an “institutionalist” who cares about the long-term health of the legislative branch.
“I think it shows he has a real commitment to this institution. One of the things that I admire about Steny is that he’s willing to defend the institution and push back when members demagogue this place,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) said.
Still, Democrats acknowledge that a salary increase is a political nonstarter, particularly given Congress’s unpopularity.
“I think he was honest and correct,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said of Hoyer’s pay-raise plan. “But in the practical political world? Ain’t gonna happen.”
Oh well, may as well give him a Profiles in Courage award for his efforts.
Hoyer last week became the highest-ranking member of Congress to endorse increasing lawmakers’ salaries to keep pace with the cost of living.
“I think, personally, that it was appropriate at the time of the recession in 2009 for us not to have a cost of living adjustment,” Hoyer said. “But to continue that on simply will dictate that the only people who can serve are the rich. I don’t think that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind.”
Democrats who agree with Hoyer’s argument say there’s a long way to go before lawmakers can realistically pursue a pay raise.
“I think, if Congress wants to have that conversation, we need to be a lot more functional and a lot more productive,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said. “And I think it doesn’t pass the giggle test for us to be talking about raising our own salaries when our productivity is so low.”
A rare, refreshing bit of honesty.