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Congressman wants to cut salaries of lawmakers if federal spending increases

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

A Republican congressman is pushing a bill in the House that would automatically cut the salaries of lawmakers if federal spending increases.

Speaking by phone with The Daily Caller, Rep. Randy Forbes said on Tuesday that the proposed Congressional Accountability Pay Act is intended to incentivize members of Congress to figure out how to pay down the country’s $16 trillion debt.

“So if spending goes up by 10 percent, we’re reducing your salary by 10 percent,” Forbes explained in the interview. “If it goes up by 5 percent, we’re going to reduce it by 5 percent.”

Forbes, a Republican from Virginia, re-introduced the bill on Tuesday after having been unsuccessful in having it brought to the floor in prior congresses.

The congressman said he came up with the idea after asking, “How do we get members of Congress to do what they failed to do for years?”

“The number one reason that people hire you across the country today is to deal with the No. 1 problem in the country which is spending,” Forbes said of being a lawmaker. “And therefore, if you don’t reach that goal, than we’re not going to pay you your full salary.”

Forbes said he hopes to solicit support from Republicans and Democrats for the bill in the coming days.

“It does something that’s novel in Washington,” Forbes said. “It tries to hold people accountable.”

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