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Senator: Rescind pay raises

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From Wire Reports
Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, 6:42 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Rob Portman is 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.

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 receive 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 increase to $224,600. The top two Senate leaders will have pay rise $1,000, to $194,400.

Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, will have his pay increase from $225,521 last year to $231,900 when his raise goes into effect March 27.

But the pat on the back occurred as a surprise to some, given the lack of progress all year toward a deal to head off the 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.

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