House lawmakers vote to go without cost-of-living pay increase for 6th year

| Thursday, May 1, 2014, 7:48 p.m.

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers voted for the sixth consecutive year on Thursday to deny themselves the cost-of-living pay increase that they would otherwise automatically receive in January.

The move would freeze congressional salaries at $174,000 a year and is attached to legislation to fund Congress' budget, which passed the House by a 402-14 vote. Lawmakers haven't received a pay increase since January 2009.

Bipartisan reforms enacted in 1989 gave lawmakers a big pay increase in exchange for dropping the much-criticized practice of accepting money from outside interest groups for speeches.

That legislation awarded lawmakers annual cost-of-living pay increases, which meant that lawmakers no longer had to cast politically toxic votes to raise their pay.

Congress accepted the annual COLA for some years in the 1990s and for most of the 2000s.

The scheduled 1.6 percent hike would give lawmakers a raise of about $2,800.

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