A Nebraska congressman on Monday challenged his Democratic rival’s proposal to cut congressional pay by 10 percent, arguing that lawmakers haven’t had a raise in years.
State Sen. Brad Ashford has pledged to return 10 percent of his pay if elected until an equal pay cut passes in Congress, according to Omaha TV station KMTV. Incumbent Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) rejected that proposal.
“What he’s not telling you is that Congress hasn’t had a cost of living increase since 2008, when I led the charge for a freeze,” Terry told KMTV.
“I give at least [10 percent] to charities already, so I don’t have to do a campaign trick like that,” he added. “I’m already giving back to the community from my salary.”
The Nebraska Republican also noted that he led a charge to freeze congressional pay in 2008. Lawmakers have voted to reject their automatic annual pay adjustment every year since 2009.
During last fall’s government shutdown, however, Terry said that he would continue to collect his paycheck because he had to pay for a “nice house” and “a kid in college.” He later called those comments “shameful” and agreed to withhold his pay.
The congressman also joined the House GOP’s unanimous vote against a bill that would have hiked the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in March 2013.