Washington - Alaska's senators are joining a growing group of lawmakers urging President Obama to rescind a recent executive order granting pay increases to Congress and other federal officials, saying the move doesn't jibe with the country's debt crisis.
Sen. Mark Begich said on his Facebook page that if the American people don't get an automatic pay raise then neither should members of Congress. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Monday she was "stunned" when she heard lawmakers would be getting a bump in pay.
"We haven't been able to produce a budget in three years," she said. "The last thing this Congress needs right now is a pay increase."
Obama signed an executive order last week that will lift a ban on pay freezes for federal employees.
Rank-and-file members of Congress would all see a $900 bump next year -- up from $174,000. Congressional leaders will receive a slightly higher raise, with the House speaker receiving a $1,100 salary increase to $224,600. The top two Senate leaders will see pay rise $1,000, to $194,400.
Vice President Biden, meanwhile, will see his pay increase from $225,521 last year to $231,900 after his raise goes into effect March 27, 2013.
But the pat on the back came as a surprise to some, given the lack of progress all year toward a deal to head off the looming fiscal crisis -- which includes $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts. Even if that is resolved, Washington has still done relatively little to address the more than $16 trillion debt.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., introduced legislation Monday that would rescind the pay raises.
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