Rep. Herrera Beutler reintroduces pay cuts for Congress bill

The proposal didn’t get anywhere during her first term, but U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, has reintroduced a bill that would cut the salaries of Congress members, the president and the vice president by 10 percent.

“We’re past due for Congress and the White House to consider major reforms to our federal budget, but we can give those needed reforms a jumpstart by beginning with our own salaries,” she wrote in a statement. Herrera Beutler added that she’ll continue to build support for the bill to “make this small but important reform a reality.”

Herrera Beutler introduced the bill — called the “Savings Start with Us” act — in March of 2011, and it languished in its initial committee. The bill had two Republican cosponsors.

Rank-and-file members of Congress in both the House and Senate are paid an annual salary of $174,000, an amount that hasn’t increased since 2009. Members of the leadership in both chambers are paid $193,400. The speaker of the House gets even more.

Vice President Joe Biden receives a salary of $227,300, so he would feel a $22,700 bite under the bill. A 10 percent pay cut would cost President Barack Obama $40,000. The office of the president hasn’t had a pay raise in a decade, though the last pay hike doubled the salary of the nation’s chief executive from $200,000 to $400,000.

So far this year, Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., has co-sponsored Herrera Beutler’s pay-cut bill.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

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