McConnell to block efforts to revive pay raise for lawmakers

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U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky head shot LOW-RES

WASHINGTON (AP) – Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell says the GOP-controlled chamber won’t go along with a bipartisan plan by House leaders to have lawmakers receive their first cost-of-living pay increase in a decade.

In a statement Thursday, McConnell says “we’re not doing a COLA adjustment in the Senate,” a position that likely kills the $4,500 pay raise. Lawmakers are supposed to get an automatic inflationary increase each year but it has been blocked since 2009.

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House leaders in both parties, led by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, have been trying to orchestrate a maneuver to bless the cost-of-living increase. Rank and file lawmakers make $174,000 per year, a healthy wage, but rising housing and college costs are making it more difficult for members who aren’t well off to remain in Congress.