Thursday, June 15, 2006

Congress needs a diet COLA!

Seeing as Congress has done a great job this term --what with the tax breaks for the rich and the effort to protect us from the gays ---lawmakers decided not to vote on whether they should get a pay raise or not. They left that to the automatic COLA cost of living raise of 2% which gives them a raise without them having to go on record as supporting it. Pretty neat, huh? This is the 7th pay raise in 7 straight years for these freeloaders on the public dole. The reports Congress members will recieve a "$3,300 pay raise that will increase their salaries to $168,500.

Lawmakers easily squelched a bid by Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, to get a direct vote to block the COLA, which is automatically awarded unless lawmakers vote to block it. Like last year, Matheson led a quixotic drive to block the raise. He was the only member to speak on the topic.

'I do not think that it is appropriate to let this bill go through without an up or down vote on whether or not Congress should have an increase in its own pay,' Matheson said. But by a 249-167 vote, the House rejected Matheson's procedural attempt to get a direct vote on the pay raise."

Another thing Congress can't bring itself to vote for is an increase in the minimum wage, which hasn't gone up in 9 years! It's not like things have gotten more expensive since then or the value of the dollar has declined any. My rent certainly hasn't gone up by about half as much.

It's not like Ted Kennedy ever stops trying to do what's right, but the odds are stacked against him. On Tuesday, the News & Observer reported, a funny thing happened in the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee. It "approved an amendment to raise the hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. The 32-27 vote came after seven Republicans, in a surprise move, crossed over to vote with Democrats. The amendment was attached to a fiscal 2007 bill to fund health and education programs. "

So maybe there is a chance something might actually happen after all? No, not really: "The committee does not have jurisdiction over labor issues, so the provision likely will be stripped from that bill when it comes up for a vote this fall."

I'm affraid the cash dipped tenticles of the National Restaurant Association and a host of other blood suckers have more pull in the halls of government than the average American does. They argue that if they were forced to raise their slave wages the working man would be harmed. Of course, one could argue that if employers were forced to provide a livable wage the incentive of hiring illegal workers would be eliminated and there would be more jobs for Americans.

But, what does Congress care about all the poor bastards serving them at their fancy get- togethers with lobbyists, right?


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