On Tuesday, with little fanfare or public attention, the House of Representatives voted itself a pay raise. The raise was cleared when an amendment by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) failed by a 263 to 152 vote, with both parties providing enough votes to pass it. (Akin to the seven year ethics truce, both parties agreed not to criticize the other for raising their pay.)
Majority Leader Tom DeLay said, "It's not a pay raise. It's an adjustment so that they're not losing their purchasing power."
Tell that to the families trying to live on the minimum wage, which hasn't been increased in 11 years. A full-time minimum wage worker earns $10,700 a year, or $5,000 below the poverty level for a family of three.
We're not, in principle, opposed to pay raises. But this year, Congress doesn't deserve one. They're working for their corporate donors, not for us.