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.
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.