WASHINGTON — Speaking out against the sequester, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she does not support pay cuts for congressional offices.
Pelosi was asked if she would take a pay cut if the budgets for her congressional offices are reduced as a result of the sequester.
“Why should people who work on Capitol Hill pay that price and be treated as members of Congress are? It’s a hard question to ask me because — most of my colleagues are the breadwinners in their families; a pay cut to me doesn’t mean as much,” said Pelosi on Thursday at the Capitol.
“I mean, I don’t think we should do it. I think we should respect the work we do. I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the jobs that we have rewarded. But, you know, this across-the-board cut, there’s an across-the-board cut. That’s just the way it is.”
Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen said federal employees should not “bear the burden” of reducing the nation’s $1 trillion deficit.
“Federal employees have seen no cost-of-living increases — these aren’t regular raises; these are to keep pace with the cost of living — for two years, and that was appropriate in these sense that they’re willing to do their share,” he said.
“What federal employees are not willing to do is to bear the entire burden of deficit reduction, to be scapegoated and have everybody point fingers at them. And that has been the Republican strategy.”
Congress approved pay freezes for federal employees in 2010, which is scheduled to expire March 27.
President Barack Obama has proposed raising federal civilian workers’ pay by 1 percent in FY2014.
Union members protested the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester Wednesday across from the Capitol.