After agreeing to meet with Democratic leaders to discuss raising the pay of lawmakers, Republicans turned right around and sent out a fundraising email accusing their colleagues across the aisle of trying to cash in while Americans are hurting.
According to a report from Politico, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) — who both think it is time to raise congressional pay — sat down with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D -MD) to discuss making a change on Tuesday after McCarthy admitted on NBC in May that a raise was overdue.
The report notes, “Both McCarthy and Scalise have cautiously embraced giving lawmakers a bump in their compensation. (The salary for House members has been at $174,000 since 2009 — which also freezes staff salary.) McCarthy told NBC in May that he is open to it, because it’s been a decade since Congress got a cost-of-living adjustment and lawmakers are leaving the job over the pay. Scalise has said ‘it ought to be looked at’ because Congress shouldn’t be a place where only wealthy people can afford to serve.”
Despite the meeting breaking up with plans to work out a proposal, the National Republican Congressional Committee fired off an email the next day criticizing the Democrats for even broaching the subject.
“After campaigning on a slogan of ‘for the people,’ the socialist Democrats have accomplished a whole lot of nothing 6 months into their majority. And as a reward for their incompetence, they want middle-class taxpayers to give them a $4,500 pay raise!” the mailer read. “Apparently making $174,000 a year, which is more than three times the average American’s salary, just isn’t enough for these socialist elitists. Between voting for the public to finance their campaigns, opposing middle-class tax cuts and pushing to give themselves raises, the socialist Democrats’ need to change their motto to ‘for the politicians.’”
The report notes that the NRCC email caught McCarthy and other GOP leaders by surprise since the Republican leader had already gone on record as saying a change was due, with a insider saying, “McCarthy and Hoyer each agreed in that meeting to take care of their own committees and make sure that if this went forward, neither side would attack each other. Less than 24 hours later, NRCC sent out that email slamming Democrats for doing it. So either McCarthy dropped the ball, or the NRCC dropped the ball.”
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