As gridlock in Congress persists, public approval ratings have sunk to near historic lows. Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat, says he’s responding with a bill that would halt automatic annual pay increases for members of Congress, and reduce their salaries by 10 percent.
“It just doesn’t seem rational to me that Congress should get an automatic pay increase based on the cost of living unless they vote against it,” Loebsack said. “It should be the other way around.” The bill called the “CHIP IN and Cut Congressional Pay Act” — has been sent to committee, where Loebsack faces an uphill battle to persuade members of Congress to vote for their own pay cuts.
But, he knows there’s a lot of public support. “One of the local TV stations here put it up on their Facebook page, and it had 190-thousand likes. I’m telling as many colleagues of mine as possible to give them a sense of what the American people feel about this,” Loebsack said.
The sequester has brought frustration with Congress to new levels for many people and Loebsack counts himself among that group. “We still have some opportunity to reverse it, but every day goes by, I think we have fewer opportunities to do that,” Loebsack said.
“As far as I’m concerned, Congress is paid to make hard decisions, not easy unthinking decisions, and that’s really what sequestration is.”
Loebsack made his comments on the Iowa Public Radio program “River to River.” He also introduced a bill in 2010 to cut congressional pay.