For Immediate Release:                                                         For More Information Contact:
Tuesday, September 23, 1997                                                Gary Ruskin (202) 296-2787

Statement of Gary Ruskin Regarding Proposed Congressional Pay Raise

Some Members of Congress are trying to take advantage of the taxpayers by giving themselves another pay raise. We're going to stop them.

In the last twenty years, House Members have received ten pay raises. Senators have received eleven.

This is especially galling, because, economically speaking, the American people have not been doing very well. If you adjust for inflation, the median male income for full-time year-round workers was higher in 1969 than it was in 1995. For women, median full-time year-round income was higher in 1986 than it was in 1995. That means many Americans haven't received a real pay raise in more than a generation.

If we don't get a raise, Members of Congress don't deserve a raise.

Now you all know about generations. We have the "Generation X", the "me" generation, the baby boom generation. But up on Capitol Hill, we have the "gimmie" generation. All you hear up there on Capitol Hill is gimmie, gimmie, gimmie. Gimmie this, gimmie that. Gimmie a pay raise, and weaken the House gift ban while you're at it so someone can gimmie more gifts. Where's the dignified self-restraint at a time when the federal government is more than $5 trillion in debt? We don't hear it.

Members of Congress have got to stop acting like a 15 year old with free use of mother's credit card. We want our Members of Congress to adopt self-restraint and self-discipline for the common good. We want them to lead by example. We want them to strip the lard from the Congressional budget -- and that means taking aim at congressional pay and perks.

Call your members of Congress to tell them to oppose the congressional pay raise. Also tell your House members to tell their leaders to schedule a vote for Rep. Smith's amendment to stop the congressional pay raise. The congressional switchboard phone number is (202) 224-3121.