Republican Against Raising Minimum Wage Is Upset His Salary Hasn’t Increased

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Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) is currently resisting a pay cut for Congress members that would decrease their already frozen salary.

When State Sen. Brad Ashford – Terry’s Democratic opponent – proposed a 10% cut in salary on Monday, Terry said:

“What he’s not telling you is that Congress hasn’t had a cost of living increase since 2008, when I led the charge for a freeze.” [source]

The session was ultimately unproductive and now Congress has adjourned for a five week recess. Ashford, disappointed, pointed out:

“To leave Congress in the state that it was left last week, in my view, is not serving the needs of the people.” [source]

The last time Congress voted to increase their salaries was in 2009, and there have been several pay freezes since due to the country’s debt and the recession. Still, Terry doesn’t want to give up 10% of his paycheck. He said:

“I give at least that amount [10 percent] to charities already, so I don’t have to do a campaign trick like that. I’m already giving back to the community from my salary.” [source]

The interesting thing about Terry’s opposition to a salary cut is that in March 2013, Terry and fellow Republicans unanimously voted against a Democratic bill to increase the the federal minimum wage. He might be getting a little taste of his own medicine.

Terry’s unwillingness to budge on his checkbook has been criticized before. During 2013’s government shutdown, Terry refused to give up his $174,000 salary and was forced to apologize. However, I can’t imagine he’s genuinely sorry, since he also said:

“God bless them. But you know what? I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.” [source]