House votes to keep pay freeze for lawmakers, federal employees; Overturn Obama executive order
The House of Representatives is poised to vote as early as tonight on a bill addressing a series of tax increases and spending cuts taking affect this week. But first lawmakers voted on a plan to freeze the salaries of lawmakers and federal employees.
Despite Democratic objections, the bill passed 287 to 129, with 55 Democrats voting with Republicans to approve the measure.
House Democrats charged that the vote to freeze salaries was intended to provide political cover for conservative Republicans planning to vote against the fiscal cliff bill passed early Tuesday by the Senate.
The fiscal cliff deal, passed with 89 votes in the Senate, includes language that would block a 0.5 percent cost of living pay increase for lawmakers, reversing parts of an executive order Obama issued last week – because Congress had yet to set the federal government’s pay scale for 2013.
Voting against the fiscal cliff plan might leave some House Republicans open to charges by future political opponents that they voted to give themselves a raise, or didn’t vote to block a congressional pay raise, Democrats charged.