House appropriators are testing the waters on raising member pay — requesting a report on comparison of member salaries to those in the private sector. It is the latest iteration of a hot-button issue that has tripped up spending bills in recent years.
The salary for rank-and-file House and Senate lawmakers is $174,000, but those with official leadership titles and responsibilities make more. That level has been frozen since 2009, and each year appropriators have written into law that no pay raises would be given to members.
Report language accompanying the fiscal 2022 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, released Monday ahead of Tuesday’s House Appropriations Committee markup of the measure, would direct the office of the chief administrative officer to coordinate with the Congressional Research Service or other entities to compile a report comparing member pay with “executives and managers in the private sector with similar levels of experience and responsibility.”
When adjusted for inflation, member salaries decreased approximately 17 percent from 2009 until 2020.