A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Another Zero Pay Increase for Congress

Contrary to persistent Internet rumors — which we debunked in "Zero Pay Raise for Congress, Too" on Sept. 25, 2009, and again in "Retribution Fabrication" on Jan. 8 — there was no pay raise for members of Congress this year. Congress voted over a year ago to deny itself the automatic increase that would have gone into effect in January.

And now there will be no pay raise for House or Senate members next year, either. The House passed H.R. 5146 by a vote of 402 to 15 on April 27, and the Senate approved the measure by unanimous consent the following day. President Obama signed the brief bill into law without ceremony on May 14. It states that there will be no "adjustment" to the pay of House or Senate members during fiscal 2011, despite the law that would otherwise provide for a cost of living adjustment in line with inflation.

So now there’s even less of an excuse to keep passing on those angry messages claiming that Congress is voting itself pay increases. They’re just not true.