- Campaign opens for performance-based congressional pay and 70% raise
- A campaign has started to raise the salaries of House and Senate members by 70% to $294,000 from the current $174,000 in return for better “performance.”
- Federal analyst Steven Kopits, the president of Princeton Policy Advisors, argued that since most members are lawyers, salaries should at least be equal to what first-year associates in Manhattan receive, plus a 20% bump up.
- “Most legislators are lawyers by trade, and we — or at least I — would hope that the public would prefer the best and the brightest to become members of Congress. First year law associates in New York are the best and brightest of their year, typically from Ivy League universities, and their salaries are tied to the market for premium legal services in the U.S. Therefore, if we believe we would like to recruit top-line legal professionals to serve in Congress, then first year associate salaries are a plausible comparable,” Kopits said in a memo.
- “I would argue that a senator should make considerably more than a first year lawyer, perhaps twice as much, but the political equilibrium seems to fall considerably lower. Even so, a congressman should make at least 20% more than a first year lawyer, about the same ratio as in the 1980s. If we apply that metric, congressional salaries should be set at $294,000 for 2024, a 70% increase over the current pay level,” he said.
- “It’s one thing to bad mouth your opponents when it’s costless. But when your bonus depends on using money wisely, well, people find a way to cooperate. If you’re a burn-it-to-the-ground MAGA Republican, the most revolutionary thing you could do is introduce a performance-based bonus. Democrats might have to go along with it. After all, they want a pay raise, too,” Kopits argued.
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