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Rep. McAdams, others push back on proposed pay raise

Politics

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Does Congress deserve a pay raise? House leadership was considering one that would kick in next year.

A cost of living increase for Congress has been put on hold for about 10 years.

This year, House leaders on both sides talked about bringing it back.

They wanted to bump the pay for representatives by $4,500 in January 2020, up from the current $174,000 salary.

While checking in with taxpayers in downtown Salt Lake City there was no appetite for it.

Some say they make plenty.

“They already make far more than the average American. And I feel like they work less than the average American, so why should they get a pay raise?” said Ryan Barton.

Others fear what it could mean for the national debt.

“It is out of control, and it does need to be managed better and I don’t think giving them a raise is going to help any,” said Kelly Kingston.

Utah’s newest member of the House agrees there should be no raise.

“I’ve spent time talking to my constituents. I know what’s on their mind. I know what they sent me here to do. They sent me here to address the rising cost of healthcare, the rising cost to prescription drugs, not to give myself a raise,” said Representative Ben McAdams, (D) Utah.

McAdams is part of a group of lawmakers from both sides that took a stand against it.

Others spoke out against their actions.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted this: “What this does is punish members who rely on a straight salary, and reward those who rely on money loopholes and other forms of self-dealing.”

“I think it’s absurd to say that Congress can’t get by on $174,000 a year. That’s a generous salary,” McAdams responded.

House leadership agreed to pull the proposal. McAdams says he’s hopeful they will stick to that and not try to bring it back up.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

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