Congressional ‘dignity’ at risk?
Across-the-board federal budget cuts loom if Congress can’t come together to avert scheduled “sequester” reductions by March 1. That would inflict severe consequences over a wide range of our the U.S. government’s functions — particularly our military.
But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed a very different concern Thursday: the growing threat of sequester-imposed congressional-pay reductions.
Though Mrs. Pelosi and her husband are quite wealthy, she told reporters on Capitol Hill: “Most of my colleagues are the breadwinners in their families. A pay cut to me doesn’t mean as much.”
She added another worry that transcends monetary measure for federal lawmakers: “I think we should respect the work we do. I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.”
Too bad so many Americans have suffered the indignity of losing their jobs over the last four years.
Millions of them weren’t even counted in last month’s 7.9 percent national unemployment rate because they have given up on finding work.
So don’t lose any sleep over potentially slight reductions in the $174,000 annual base pay of U.S. House members (as minority leader, Rep. Pelosi gets $193,400).
And while congressional dignity is a worthy concept, after watching the national debt rise by more than $5 trillion in the last four years, we’d settle for some overdue congressional frugality.