Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kirkpatrick Proposes Pay Cut

Color me slightly surprised: My congresswoman, Ann Kirkpatrick is proposing a congressional pay cut:

Representative Ann Kirkpatrick is today launching a push to make Members of Congress show a personal commitment to cutting federal spending. She is introducing the Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act, which will cut pay for all Senators and Representatives by five percent starting January 1, 2011. If the bill is passed into law, Member salaries will be reduced for the first time since April 1, 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression.

“Families across the country are getting by on lower wages and finding ways to cut back during the downturn, and these are the folks that pay our salaries. The federal government’s budget is in much worse shape, so why shouldn’t senators and representatives have to feel the same pinch?” asked Rep. Kirkpatrick.

The proposal itself is fine, but I'm surprised that it's Ann making it. In her time in congress, she's been mostly a milquetoast moderate, and has made very few legislative proposals. She's been the epitome of the "nice, polite democrat" and avoided any controversy.

So, does this proposal mean anything? Not really. A 5% congressional pay cut would be a purely symbolic gesture in terms of deficit reduction. It would look good for a campaign photo-op, though. I seriously doubt that it will pass, or even get out of committee, unless a number of more powerful congress critters decide that it could help their re-election bids.

But what the heck, it's actually kinda nice to see Ann taking some action. Even a symbolic gesture is a bolder move than what I'm used to from her.

No comments: