By casting their ballots in favor of a deal that would avert the so-called fiscal cliff early Tuesday morning, senators overwhelmingly blocked a pay increase for themselves and members of the House that President Obama recently approved via an executive order.
The bill contains a one-sentence provision that would block a scheduled cost-of-living adjustment for representatives and senators that is due to take place when the continuing resolution under which the federal government is currently operating expires on March 27. Congressional pay has not been increased since 2009, in part because the vote is so unpopular with the public given the recent recession, the push for deficit reduction and the high disapproval ratings of Congress.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said Monday that she planned to introduce legislation to stop the Congressional salary hike. But she made those comments before an agreement was reached between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. That deal included a provision rescinding the pay hike tucked inside of the 157-page package.
The provision has bipartisan support, including from Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska.