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Fact Checking Claims About Congressional Pay
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Fact Checking Claims About Congressional Pay

Social media posts claim members gave themselves a 21-percent raise.

Viral social media posts claim that members of Congress have raised their pay by 21 percent in passing a recent bill.

The claims are inaccurate: The $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill signed into law by President Joe Biden on Friday included funds for a number of projects, but a congressional pay raise was not among them. The omnibus included a 21 percent increase in members’ representational allowance, the budget given to each member of Congress to carry out the duties of his or her office. This budget covers pay for staff, office materials, mailing expenses, and any other expenses a member of Congress might incur while performing his or her job. In 2021, the ceiling for congressional staff salaries was raised to $199,300. Previously, it had been capped at $173,900, $100 below the salary of members.

Congress has not given itself a salary increase since 2009, and the omnibus includes a provision continuing the freeze on salaries that has been in place since then, reading: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no adjustment shall be made under section 601(a) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 4501) (relating to cost of living adjustments for Members of Congress) during fiscal year 2022.”

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Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.