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Specific Pay-Raise Plan for Congress Postponed

June 29, 1989|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — President Bush decided Wednesday to postpone a specific congressional pay-increase proposal tied to a ban on honorariums after a day of internal debate over the issue, Administration officials said.

Bush plans to unveil today a package of proposed changes in the way federal campaigns are financed and at one point considered including specific proposals on pay increases for members of Congress and senior government officials. But senior officials said the President decided Wednesday to put off that issue to prevent it from becoming entangled in the broad package of campaign finance reforms.

Four months ago, a public outcry killed a proposed 51% pay increase that the President had backed for members of Congress, senior members of the executive branch and federal judges.

An official said the White House was "back and forth" all day on the pay issue, and others indicated that insufficient staff work had been done on the issue to outline a proposal.

"The President is intent on this campaign package and doesn't want to get it mucked up with other stuff," one official said.

The President has been on record in support of a congressional pay increase tied to a ban on outside speaking fees and has been studying various options.

Issues at stake included the size of an increase, the number and level of other federal workers who would be eligible for such salary increases and the manner in which the ban on honorariums would be implemented.

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