Reid May End Pay Raises by UC

Posted March 10, 2009 at 4:29pm

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will propose that the Senate unanimously agree to end its two-decade-old practice of automatic pay raises each year in an effort to fend off a GOP amendment to the omnibus that had threatened to derail the bill.Republicans are expected to object to Reid’s unanimous consent motion — and Democratic leadership aides said Reid is not planning to either file cloture on the stand- alone pay-raise bill or seek a roll call vote, effectively putting the issue to rest for the time being. But Reid’s gambit is expected to keep the omnibus spending bill as-is by giving his Democratic colleagues cover to vote against a near-identical pay raise amendment that has been offered by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).With the economy collapsing and government spending skyrocketing, the always politically dicey issue of Congressional pay raises has taken on added heft this year. Vitter’s amendment, in fact, could have been agreed to without Reid’s decision to offer the same proposal in a stand-alone measure.Democrats have insisted that changing the omnibus is not an option at this point, and Reid has gone to great lengths to hold the line against a series of tough Republican amendments over the last several days.