Senate Holds the Line on Staff Salaries

No raises for members of Congress either in bill approved by Appropriations Committee

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri speaks during a Senate Appropriations meeting to markup the legislative branch spending bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a legislative branch spending bill Thursday that did not address raising salaries for the chamber’s staff — unlike their counterparts in the House .  

The appropriations bill also includes a provision, which has been in place since 2009, that would prevent any pay increase for members of Congress. The same has been the case for House members since 2010.  

[Congress Needs More and Better-Paid Staff] Individual senators, who control how they run their own offices, could still choose to give their staff raises with existing money.  

The $871 million Senate legislative branch spending plan includes funding for financial management system upgrades and information technology advancements, including cyber security.  

[House Amendment Could Increase Staff Pay] The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment on Tuesday that would provide an additional $8.3 million to the Members Representational Allowance account, which funds official office expenses including staff, mail and travel. The provision would give each member's office an additional $18,821 that members could use to raise their staff salaries .

Lawmakers backing the proposal lamented the constant turnover of personnel leaving for better paying opportunities.

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