President Barack Obama on Friday signed an executive order that will lift the pay freeze for federal employees and grant members of Congress and other federal officials pay increases in 2013. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is asking the president to take back his order and offer pay increases to no one until a long-term deficit reduction agreement is reached.
Fox News explains how Obama’s recent pay raises would shape up:
Rank-and-file members of Congress would all see a $900 bump next year — up from $174,000. Congressional leaders will receive a slightly higher raise, with the House speaker receiving a $1,100 salary increase to $224,600. The top two Senate leaders will see pay rise $1,000, to $194,400.
Vice President Biden, meanwhile, will see his pay increase from $225,521 last year to $231,900 after his raise goes into effect March 27, 2013.
Obama also reportedly approved raises for circuit and district court judges.
The move riled some feathers as Congress has been unable to even strike a deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The U.S. is set to go over the metaphorical cliff at midnight on Monday. Meanwhile, Washington has done almost nothing to address the country’s $16 trillion debt, which continues to grow by the minute.
Because of these factors, Portman said no one in Washington deserves a pay bump at the moment.
“At a time when our country is facing record debt and trillion-dollar deficits, the last thing Washington should do is reward itself with a pay increase,” Portman said.
“I am calling on President Obama to withdraw his recent executive order raising federal salaries — including for members of Congress. Until a long-term deficit reduction agreement is reached, we should not consider increasing the pay for Congress,” he added.
Democratic Congressman John Barrow of Georgia is also calling on Obama not to increase Congress’ salary.
“At a time when American families face real hardship, it would be irresponsible to allow Congressional pay to increase,” Barrow said in a statement.
Featured image via AP. This story has been updated.