Rep. Foster Continues to Reject Automatic Pay Raise for Members of Congress

Today, after working to block automatic Congressional pay raises in the past, Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) announced his support for bipartisan legislation that would block the next automatic pay raise for Members of Congress.

“With unemployment numbers hovering around 10 percent in the 14th District, and with families losing their homes and their health insurance far too often, Congress cannot in good conscience give itself a raise,” said Foster. “I was pleased to see that by working together with my colleagues in the House, we were able to block the Fiscal Year 2010 pay raise, and I hope we can continue this success by blocking the Fiscal Year 2011 pay raise as well.”

H.R. 4255, the Stop the Automatic Pay Raise for Members of Congress in FY2011 Act, would block the automatic pay raise Members of Congress are scheduled to receive in Fiscal Year 2011, which begins on October 1, 2010.

“Not only is blocking the Congressional pay raise the right thing to do, it is the fiscally responsible thing to do, as it will save taxpayers millions of dollars – money that could be put to better use elsewhere,” said Foster. “It also makes the important symbolic statement that Congress is not going to reward itself when so many Americans are suffering.”

In 1989, Congress approved a process that provides lawmakers with an automatic pay raise every January unless they vote specifically to reject the salary increase. In 2008, Foster donated his Fiscal Year 2009 pay raise of $4,700, which was enacted before his election to Congress, to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Earlier this year, Foster was a co-sponsor of legislation that would block the Fiscal Year 2010 pay raise, and attention garnered by Foster and other members who also oppose the pay raise led to the blocking of the Fiscal Year 2010 salary increase. As a result, Members of Congress did not receive their anticipated raise this year. According to The Hill, one of the newspapers covering Capitol Hill, this action saved taxpayers approximately $2.5 million.

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