House Democrats scrapped plans to vote on a spending bill that would give Congress a raise for the first time in a decade, The Hill reports.
The House will still vote on the spending bill but one that does not include a pay raise for lawmakers.
The bill was pulled after nearly a dozen swing-state Democratic freshmen introduced amendments to block the pay raise.
Members of Congress have not received a pay raise since 2009. The House bill would have given lawmakers a 2.6% raise.
Members of Congress currently earn $174,000 per year while Speaker Nancy Pelosi earns $223,500 and House party leaders earn $193,400.
The Congressional Research Office estimated that if lawmakers received regular cost-of-living increases, their salary would be around $210,900.
Members of Congress forced to sleep on couches, Dems say:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that the push for a raise came after lawmakers expressed concern that it was difficult for lawmakers to afford second residences in pricey Washington DC. Hoyer said he would work to craft a bipartisan deal on pay raises.
Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger told The Hill that she opposed the pay raise because others should get a raise first.
"I'd rather continue in suspend mode than distract from all of the other good pieces of work that we're doing. And that when we are voting to raise wages, I hope that it's for teachers and community leaders and minimum wage workers before we turn our attention toward ourselves," Spanberger told The Hill.
"I think there's a lot of larger conversation that we really need to be having, particularly our staff members and the issue of members sleeping on their couches (which I don't do)," she added. "I don't want it to be a distraction from really all of the good things that are going to be in the appropriations bills we're voting on this week."
AOC says pay raise necessary to rein in corruption:
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for pay increases on Twitter and agreed with a user who noted that “if you cut the pay of public servants for a decade you get bribery and corruption.”
“Voting against cost of living increases for members of Congress may sound nice, but doing so only increases pressure on them to keep dark money loopholes open,” she wrote. “This makes campaign finance reform *harder.* ALL workers deserve cost of living increases, incl min wage workers.”
“What this does is punish members who rely on a straight salary, and reward those who rely on money loopholes and other forms of self-dealing,” she explained. “For example, it incentivizes the horrible kinds of legislative looting we saw in the GOP tax scam bill.”
“It’s not a fun or politically popular position to take. But consistency is important,” she added. “ALL workers should get cost of living increases. That’s why minimum wage should be pegged to inflation, too.”