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Top U. S. Officials May Forgo Pay Hike

November 27, 1987|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Congressional budget cutters have tentatively decided that their deficit-reduction package will deny a planned 2% raise for members of Congress and as many as 10,000 other top-level federal officials, congressional aides say.

The decision seems almost certain to trigger a battle over the traditional linkage between congressional pay and that of judges and upper-level civil servants.

House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) has told members that he will schedule a vote to scuttle the 2% raise for members of Congress, judges and upper-income executives and civil servants.

Sen. Lawton Chiles (D-Fla.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is leading an effort to preserve raises for judges, federal executives and members of the Senior Executive Service, the nation's top civil servants.

The decision to forgo the 2% raise is designed to save Congress the political embarrassment of voting itself three raises in slightly more than a year, including one in February that took effect automatically after Congress carefully voted to kill it a day after a statutory deadline for action had passed.

Members received a 16% increase to $89,500 annually. Their salaries are equal to those of district court judges and heads of such agencies as the CIA and FBI.

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