Vice president, Congress get pay raise in 2009

December 18, 2008

WASHINGTON – The economy is in tatters and job losses abound, but there are pay raises to be had in these trying times.

You just have to get elected.

Joe Biden, who will become vice president on Jan. 20, will receive a salary of $227,300 — $6,200 more than predecessor Dick Cheney. Close behind is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will get a $6,100 jump to $223,500.  

Senators and members of Congress will get a $4,700 increase, bringing their salaries up to $174,000. House and Senate leaders’ salaries will rise to $193,400 from $188,100.

President George W. Bush issued an executive order on Thursday to provide the annual cost-of-living increase.  “Every year the president issues this in December or January and it takes place in the first applicable pay period after Jan. 1,” White House spokesman Carlton Carroll said.

The government increases pale compared with huge year-end Wall Street bonuses that can rocket the recipient into the millionaire category.


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That action should be suspended…it is reprehensible in this economy when people are losing their homes…

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

What a smack in the face to all American citizens. And Americans actually vote for these criminals.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

This should be the top news story to let everyone know that the elected only find themselves untouchable. When will people wake up and realize how we are being snookered. I can just see Pelosi and the others at a coctail party toasting to their raise and laughing at how stupid we are for believing the lies they tell us. We will keep them on high as long as we keep giving them our money. The news media is scared to report for fear of losing their possible ”fringe benefits” with the elites.

Posted by Sheila | Report as abusive

I wonder why this bit of news is not being flashed across the country in all forms of media? The Democrats are not trying to hide it, are they?

Posted by Judith from Detroit | Report as abusive

Why of course they are, they are American royalty, they talk a good game but don’t live in the real world. The MSM will do nothing with this!

To quote Shakespear…”A plague on both their houses”!

Posted by Cathie | Report as abusive

If congress members wonder why their approval rating is at <10%, they need only look at their own hypocracy.

At Americans, from the executive ranks to part-time, minimum wage earners, are fearing for their, politicians are thinking only of themselves. The audacity of accepting a payraise in these times!

It’s clear that politicians are thinking only of themselves, not of the well-being of the people they were sent to represent.

Posted by Rosemary Barrett | Report as abusive

This continues to prove that Congress has become a den of thieves. Not caring for the people they are elected to serve but to fatten their own wallets. What an arrogant collection of hypocrites. They drive our economy into the tank by their legislation then blame the people and institutions they forced regulations on as being the problem. Now that they destroyed the golden goose they reward themselves by increasing their salaries. I guess we will now have to listen to how we the people have to sacrifice for the good of the country. The majority of these clowns should be replaced and some should be in jail.

Posted by Patriot | Report as abusive

This is just another typical item in this country. Between the robber baron CEO’s, sleazy Wall St. financiers, and corrupt, out of touch congress, it is no wonder that the U.S. ship of state is going the way of the Titanic.

These people grab, take and rob and leave us holding the empty bag, as always. A pox on all of them!

Posted by John H | Report as abusive

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Posted by Congress Pay Raise During Recession | The Weekly Point | Report as abusive

They should take a pay cut for not representing and protecting the American citizen? I vote for a salary of $1.00 till they get the economy back on track! Then put the vote to the American citizen for any FUTURE pay raise. It should be based on performance!

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Term limits for the house and senate! They do not and will not listen to the American citizen even though in interviews they (especially Pelosi and Frank)say that is what the American citizen wants them to do….Who are they talking about and who are they representing? Do they even look at the polls? WE do not want to be like California…in debt, confused, misrepresented and told how to live! This is America…the land of the free?????

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

I agree…term limits are the way to go for now. Read you Constitution: It mandates that the citizenry MUST replace the elected officials if they are not doing their job.So far,I haven’t seen a politician who is.Let’s band together before we lose this great country.

Posted by ron Hicinbothem | Report as abusive

It’s disgusting that these criminals pretend to represent us. It’s time to seriously think about revolution in this country so that we can stop this cancer before America is completely destroyed. Check out the reasons laid out for our revolution of 1776 and you may see parallels

I blame the Democrats (I’m one) mainly but Republicans are hardly without the smear either. You can bet that the liberal press will play this down unless it can slam Republicans at the same time.

Wish we had a viable third party to vote for!

Posted by Maurry Pazarian | Report as abusive

Hello?! Anybody notice where this pay raise originated?

“President George W. Bush issued an executive order on Thursday to provide the annual cost-of-living increase.”

Congress always has its snout in the trough, to be sure, but let’s be accurate about where this stinkflower originated.

Posted by Pat Morgan | Report as abusive

A pay raise in these horribly unstable and insecure times? Who issued this? GWBush! Bush probably thinks this will make him look better on the way out. Of course Congress accepted the pay raise, slimeball criminals that they are! BUT – who elected all these idiots? We The People – and now members of Congress will chuckle and toast to their salary increase, however quietly. We The People know that it is wrong to accept a raise during these bumpy times but We The People elected them! How come we continue to mislead ourselves again and again? Perhaps Obama will remain steadfast in his vision to aid the economy in definitive ways which are transparent so we at least know what transpires, hopefully, fairly to all.

Are bailouts the answer? Giving a raise is a type of bailout, if you will, in these times. Where’s my personal bailout? Where’s each individual’s personal bailout? Who has the authority to issue a massive bailout, giving $1 million to each individual…..thus spurring on the economy….

(Fantastic idea of $1 salary! And yes, payraises should be determined by vote from the American people, based on performance review)! We are all screwed in these exceeedingly turbulent times unless we each have a ton of dough stashed somewhere….what a way to begin the new year!

Posted by r | Report as abusive

I would like to remind people tha part of there pay is a lifetime of medical insurance + more. If I had just gotten a new job I wouldn’t get a raise in pay, I would have to be evaluated first. This is a bunch of garbage. Serving the people has turned into taking advantage of the people!

Posted by Barb | Report as abusive

Hey, that’s hard earned money from genuine working Americans. They deserve that raise and more. Its minimal to have to put up with you, ‘pass the pipe’ brain-dead voters.

Posted by gwmc7e | Report as abusive

This is a cost of living increase, which gov’t workers and contractors get regularly. Gov’t employees and gov’t contractors have it MADE. Tell your children to go into civil service/gov’t contract jobs. Either that or banking or law, as even if you screw up/lose, you get paid.
What torques my gourd is Palin is getting a raise from $100,000 to $125,000! That’s a TWENTY FIVE PERCENT PAY RAISE!! How many U.S. citizens (who are still employed that is) have received 3-4% raises (or less/nothing at all) on MUCH lower salaries?

Posted by nikolai | Report as abusive

There is something wrong with this picture. people are without jobs, people on medicare are trying to keep their heads above water, teachers here in alabama are being laid off, salaries frozen. people that do have jobs are mostly making minium wages. if anyone should get a raise, it should be our men and women over seas that are fighting for our country not the men and women in washington that have had their pockets padded all year. NO they shouldn’t get a raise in my opinion. I also think that our men and women in congress sure only serve 2 terms, same as our president and governers.

Posted by patsy knowles | Report as abusive

This is the worst slap in the face that Americans have to deal with. I am sick of this country giving to everyone that does not need it. God HELP US!!!!!!!!

Posted by Martha King | Report as abusive

Everyone should take a chill pill and relax. The ‘raise’ works out to be a 2.7% COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment). Nothing new or extravagent for the Government.

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

With this, congress has no right to ever question what someone else gets. We pay their salaries, my raise was stopped due to the economic situation, many have lost jobs or took pay cuts and they get an automatic raise, think if all of government took no pay raise for one year what that would add up to. thisis what should be done for all government workers

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

To take a pay raise in these tough financial times is not only insensitive it is irresponsible. Having been a business owner myself I would not take nor give any of my employees a raise if my company was struggling. Congress has been critical of AIG, the Big 3 Automakers and Wall Street, what is the difference?

A suggestion regarding the foreclosure problem: I don’t understand why a lender would prefer to foreclose and then sell the property on the court house steps (if they are lucky) than to negotiate a new loan for the current homeowner. As it is right now, the lenders will only negotiate if the homeowner misses a payment. There are thousands of homeowners that want to stay in their homes but due to market value declines can not afford or make sense of owing thousands of dollars more than the value of the home. Banks won’t work with these people unless they are in default or have an offer from a new buyer in a short sale situation. Unless I am missing something it seems a lot cheaper to keep the current homeowner than receive nothing for how ever long it takes to sell the property in foreclosure.

I have a friend who financed a $1.8 million dollar home. My friend’s financial situation has been seriously hurt by the current economy and at the same time his home is now valued at around $600,000. He has tried to get the lender to work with him and reduce the principal to reflect the current market value. The lender would rather foreclose, incur all the costs of foreclosure plus absorb the loss for the time the property sits unsold than work with him. Now how stupid is that?

I have another friend who has cancer and was unable to work for several years. She listed her home with a local real estate company. The house was up for sale for 1.5 years. She tried to work with the bank to allow her to sell the home for current market value but they would not work with her. The home foreclosed and then sat on the market for the next year and half; the property sold for almost 50% of the loan. If the bank had allowed her to advertise the sale of the home to reflect market value it might have sold and less lost to all parties.

Thank you.

Posted by Mary Crawford | Report as abusive

We have elected 100 Senators and 435 Congressmen who are directly,leagally,morallly and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague the country at a cost of $1,034,690,000 dollars Salary. This does not include their expense accounts, retirement and etc which will more than triple the cost to tax payers. Its time they take a cut in pay for their incompetant performance. If we performed on a job like this we would be terminated. What a waste of money yours and mine

Posted by Joseph Jones | Report as abusive

One day after Obama is elected 100 white house aids have a freeze put on there salaries. What is so wrong with this picture people?

Posted by Debbie | Report as abusive

Whether or not the ‘raise’ is just a 2.7% COLA, the timing is certianly inappropriate with the existing econoamy in this country. Many others are being asked to forgo bonuses and many have been forced to lose bonuses or their jobs altogether. What happened to us ‘working together’ to solve our problems? Why shouldn’t congress really be the leaders and lead by example? If it is only a 2.7% COLA, why should it be so difficult to go without it? It might only be a symbolic gesture, but I would love to see congress refuse to accept the increase. It would do a lot for morale in this country.

Posted by Paul McAllister | Report as abusive

With the job Congress has been doing they should work for nothing. Congress has the power to say “yes or no.” They passed the laws that got us into this mess.Now they are trying to make a big show for the people, they will change their story daily. Do you remember about three years ago the Democratic party were running on a pay as you go platform.Well see what that got us.America needs to get real our Congress is a laughing stock.America Sleeps.

Posted by Travis Taylor | Report as abusive

we shouldn’t have to chill. At a time when most companies are facing cutbacks due to budget constraints the American people are not getting their wages, in fact most feel fortunate to keep their job. In times like these Congress should not take this raise even if it is just a 2.7% COLA raise because America’s budget cannot afford it.

It is a shame that most of them make well above the average American citizen but yet get pay raises each year even though they fail to perform. It isn’t just one party or another, but both parties. I know of one political figure that is so against the pay raises that he actually has been giving his away to charity, there may be more but for now I just want to say hats off to the Utah Democrat – Matheson and hats off to others I may not know about who fight against the annual raise.

I don’t think the media should be letting this news slide on by without it becoming evident that our representatives do not deserve a raise as long as they can’t balance the budget, stop their excessive spending and get this country back on track. Blame Bush all you want but the Democrats have been in control of Congress for over 2 years, what are they going to do next blame Obama. Sure the buck stops at the President but it starts with Congress and they deserve to be blamed for their lack of action.

Posted by Jo | Report as abusive

I’ve tried to look at our economic situation from an unbiased point of view.

To the best of my knowledge, when Clinton left office, we had a surplus of two hundred and thirty billion dollars. Of course, it all depends on how you move the numbers around. Eight years later, when George Bush left office, we had the largest deficit this country has ever seen. Three and a half trillion dollars.

That means that we went through almost four trillion dollars in less than eight years! So what the **** happened to all that money? That’s all I want to know. That’s all I’m asking. Where did it all go? What happened?

Sure, I know the wars in Afganistan and Iraq cost alot, ….. but not THAT much! I know the wealthiest people in the country got a tax break. I know the people at Halliburton got alot of money from the government. I know it cost alot to clean things up after 9/11 and Katrina. I know it all adds up, but still ……… almost four trillion dollars? Are you ******* kidding me? The Republican party was once known as the party of fiscal conservatism. Seriously. What happened?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t favor any one party or politician over another. I don’t trust any of them anymore. Hey, if a politician inspires you, then, in my humble opinion, you’re the kind of person that was probably inspired by your high school gym teacher! Let’s face it, the Republican party has now become known as the party of bad ideas. Whereas, the Democratic party has become known as the party of no ideas!

After the recession dam broke, Congress basically told Wall street, and people in the banking industry, that they got us into this mess because they were too greedy and irresponsible. And yet, the people on Capitol Hill had the “cahonas” (in January of 2009) to vote themselves a pay raise ….. during a time of economic crisis! Talk about the height of hypocrisy!

Congress called their little raise a “cost of living” wage increase. They voted themselves a pay raise of $4,700, bringing their salaries to $174,000. This, when people around the country were losing their jobs or taking pay cuts just to keep them!

One week later, they felt enough public pressure to cancel their pay raise. But, ….. and this is very important, …… they did NOT cancel an automatic pay increase scheduled for 2010. There was a little battle over that in the Senate, and the majority of Senators voted not to cancel their automatic pay raises! And people in Washington wonder why people have become so cynical. Gee, I wonder?

Do the people in Washington really want to set an example? They’re supposed to be our leaders, right? Then I suggest that the President, his administration, and everyone on Capitol Hill take a 2 – 3 percent pay cut. Of course, if this should ever happen, I’ll glance outside my window to look for flying pigs! Either that, or I’ll phone CNN to report that hell has frozen over.

Posted by Pete | Report as abusive

these hypocrits are trying to show us how to tighten the belt and be responsible. OH I guess you dont have to worry about that when your spending someone elses money. Vote congress out reguardless of party. Thats being responsible.

Posted by lauren hutto | Report as abusive

With all the executive orders of Bush that Obama has reversed, why didn’t he reverse this one?

Posted by Jean | Report as abusive

Outrageous, that increases will be giving to our elected politicians in 2010, and bonuses will be given to AIG and retainer bonuses to financial institutions who brought America and the world to their knees. They reap the rewards, pass the cost of doing business down to the american tax payers by increased taxes on everything we buy and to the future generations yet to be born. AIG was a ponsi scheme larger than Bernard Madoff in respect to the mortgage insurance that was sold off as triple A Bonds. The culprits; Rating Agencies, Security and Exchange Commission and lack of proper regulations are being rewarded by passing the buck to the American public. To deny an increase in the Social Security benefits for 2010 just puts all of the above in it’s right perspective. Americans WAKE UP!

Posted by Yvonne | Report as abusive

Ironic-social security recipients don’t get a cola adjustment this year and congress does. Nuff said

Posted by sheila | Report as abusive

There is a very simple solution. One third of the Congress and part of the Senate is up for relection in 2010. Be as mad at voting time as youare now vote ever incumbant out, send he message that we have had enough.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

How can Congress so readily deny us, who are on social security, a cost of living increase of maybe $10/mo. and yet accept a $4700 cost of living increase????

Posted by CAMSHAM | Report as abusive

Let’s not forget, in November, all the “INS” get voted “OUT” !!!

Posted by CAMSHAM | Report as abusive

How do I get a list of those Senators/Congressmen/Women who DID NOT vote to cancel their most recent COLA raise in either 2009 or 2010?

Posted by LockedandLoaded | Report as abusive

What the Hell does “report as abusive” mean? What is abusive about wanting to know the voting records of the people we elected to represent us and who do not?

Posted by LockedandLoaded | Report as abusive

The 3% COLA adjustment I DID NOT GET this year on my Social Security check probably represents no more than the TIP a congressman/Senator would drop to a waiter after one of their Washington dinners, but to me it represents a meal at McDonalds about once a week that I cannot now afford.

Posted by LockedandLoaded | Report as abusive