congressional wages

Congress got themselves another automatic pay raise last week:

WASHINGTON, June 28 - The House agreed Tuesday that members of Congress should earn $3,100 more next year, bringing their salaries to $165,200.

By a vote of 263 to 152, the House blocked a bid by Representative Jim Matheson, Democrat of Utah, to force a vote on the increase. Instead, lawmakers will automatically receive the money as provided for in a 1989 law that barred them from accepting large speaking fees in exchange for an annual cost of living adjustment.

Mr. Matheson was the only House member to speak out against the increase, which will take effect in January.

The raises are automatic – and indexed to inflation. Tom Delay had this to say about it:

“It’s not a pay raise,” said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. “It’s an adjustment so that they’re not losing their purchasing power.”

See? It’s just a simple inflation adjustment – just like we do for the minimum wage. OH WAIT.