WASHINGTON — The House voted Tuesday to exempt members of Congress and other top government officials from a 4% federal pay raise it had approved to take effect next January.
The pay increase was included in a $16.1-billion spending bill for the Treasury, Postal Service and other government agencies for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The bill was approved, 301 to 96, after the pay increase for top-level officials was stripped out on a 230-170 vote.
Under law, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet officers and other top federal officials stood to automatically receive the 4% pay raise granted to federal employees. Lawmakers currently make $89,500.
Rep. Philip M. Crane (R-Ill.) offered the amendment to take away the top-level pay boosts, aiming his criticism at Congress.
"I think . . . based upon performance we should not be contemplating such pay raises" just a little over a year since Congress' last increase, he said.
But several members fought the amendment, saying the government needed to attract top people.
The measure, which goes to the Senate, would increase the budgets for the Customs Service and the Internal Revenue Service. The Office of Management and Budget said many provisions were unacceptable--including the apparent expectation that money would be found to finance the federal pay raises without cutting programs.