Congress To Get Raise Despite Recession

Senior citizens will receive an increase of $756 in Social Security next year, but lawmakers will reportedly receive an increase of $4,700 which will increase their annual salaries to $174,000 — an increase that will end up costing taxpayers more than $2.5 million on top of the trillions of dollars slapped onto taxpayers courtesy of the fraudulent financial bailout.

Congress completely capitulated to President Bush’s illegal actions these past eight years — authorizing illegal, unconstitutional ‘legislation’ such as the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act which thoroughly destroyed civil rights and freedom, The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 which sanctioned torture, the Real ID Act of 2005 that would threaten personal privacy if enacted, institutionalized illegal spying with the Protect America Act, destroyed Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure by authorizing the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, authorized illegal wars…the list goes on and on. Congressional deregulation of the financial industry played a major role in the financial meltdown.

Threatening Marshall Law if the fraudulent bailout wasn’t authorized gave Congress another black eye. Congressional leaders were notified of the illegal spying and torture authorized by President Bush long before the public was made aware of it, yet did nothing to stop or prevent it, going so far as encouraging more of it in some cases.

Corrupt Republicans in the Senate have been trying to destroy the United Auto Workers Union by claiming — falsely — that American auto workers are paid $73 an hour. Because auto workers “are paid too much,” the Senate purposely stalled a bill that would have aided ‘struggling’ automakers — although one wonders how much they’re actually struggling when GM’s parent company makes $100 billion a year and they’re gearing up for more production in Mexico — but Bush went ahead and announced that his administration would give automakers a loan with multiple contingencies.

On top of overinflated salaries Congress receives for destroying this country, many members of Congress receive incredibly large ‘donations’ from Wall Street, Oil companies, Auto companies and an incredible amount of other lobbyists for looking the other way and destroying more ‘middle class’ American lives.

Bush should have been imprisoned years ago. Bush may try to pardon himself and all the other crooks in his administration, but fortunately for the American people, the president can’t pardon crimes he authorized and there is no statute of limitations on war crimes. Because Congress was so complicit in allowing Bush to destroy the country however he wanted, Congress — particularly House Speaker Pelosi and the other Congressional ‘leadership’ — is afraid to impeach Bush and hold him accountable for his illegal actions because many of them are just as guilty of committing treasonous crimes against humanity.

Information about the raise Congress is set to receive is below:

Members of Congress Due to Award Themselves $4,700 Raise in 2009

Average Senior to Receive Just $756 Increase in Social Security Next Year; Lawmakers Slated to Make $174,000 Next Year

December 17, 2008 (Washington, DC) – Members of Congress are slated to receive a $4,700 pay raise beginning in January, increasing their annual salaries to $174,000. The increase for 535 House and Senate members would cost taxpayers more than $2.5 million.

That salary alone, which excludes all other outside income and spousal wages, ranks each lawmaker in the top six percent of American households.

Congress automatically gets a pay raise each year, and has to introduce legislation to prevent the increase. Although legislation to halt the Congressional raise has been introduced, the most supported bill (H.R. 5087) has just 34 co-sponsors, far short of the 218 necessary for passage.

“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”

According to a Congressional Record Service dated November 26, 2008, lawmakers will receive a 2.8 percent increase in pay next year, from $169,300 to $174,000.

Meanwhile, a senior receiving average benefits will get a $63 monthly increase to just $1,153 per month next year, bringing their annual total to $13,836. An estimated 12 percent of all seniors are living at or below the poverty line, and one-third of all beneficiaries depend on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

“It’s outrageous that our elected officials continue to reward themselves with larger pay raises while they allow millions of seniors to go without basic necessities,” said Shannon Benton, executive director of TSCL. “Given he precarious economic climate, it’s particularly troubling that lawmakers are failing to set an example by sacrificing their own unnecessary raises.”

The Senior Citizens League supports three bills – H.R. 5087, H.R. 5091, and H.R. 6417 – which would prevent the pay raise from automatically going into effect. TSCL encourages its members to contact their Members of Congress and ask them to support those bills.

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