The freshman congressman doesn’t think he or other members of Congress should make more money next year.
Freshman Rep. Jared Golden doesn’t want members of Congress–including himself–getting a pay raise next year.
Golden, who testified against pay raises at a House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee meeting in March, said in testimony that it is unfair to constituents for their representatives get a pay raise if they don’t get things done in office. Members of Congress are currently set to receive a $4,500 pay raise in 2021, according to Golden’s office.
“A middle-of-the-road income for a household in my district is $48,000. That’s about a third of what a member of Congress makes,” he said in a statement. “The people I represent wouldn’t keep their jobs, let alone get a raise, unless they got their work done. Congress shouldn’t be any different.”
To prevent members of Congress from getting the substantial pay raise, language in a 2021 funding bill for the legislative branch would need to be changed
“Representing your community in Congress is about public service, not about how big your paycheck is,” Golden said. “Until Congress can demonstrate to the American people that it can work in a bipartisan, bicameral way to solve our nation’s most pressing challenges, we believe that including this language in the appropriations bill to block the proposed pay raise for members of Congress is the right thing to do.”
Golden testified in front of the subcommittee alongside Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who is also against giving members of Congress a pay raise.
Last year the two lawmakers successfully led a bipartisan group of 20 lawmakers to prevent an earlier attempt to raise the salaries of members of Congress. According to Golden’s office, members of Congress already receive a salary that is higher than about 90% of American households.
Golden has also worked in a bipartisan fashion with Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) to hold Congress accountable during government shutdowns by withholding members’ salaries, as well as withholding the salaries of the president and vice president until lawmakers can reach an agreement and reopen the government.
“This is all, for me, based on a simple lesson I learned in the Marines,” Golden said. “It’s why I am opposed to having a discussion about pay raises for members of Congress no matter how well-intentioned, until we put our constituents first.”