President Obama offers Michele Bachmann a raise she doesn't want
Bachmann did something most workers in this tough economy wouldn't imagine: Refuse and denounce a raise offer.
When he signed an executive order calling for an end to a longstanding pay freeze for members of Congress and other federal employees last Thursday, President Obama essentially offered Michele Bachmann a $900-a-year raise. But Bachmann and a majority of her colleagues in the GOP-controlled House wanted nothing to do with it.
Yesterday, Bachmann introduced legislation to overturn Obama's executive order and scrap a pay raise for a variety of federal employees, not just including members of Congress. The bill ended up being approved in the House by a 287-129 margin, though it hasn't yet been taken up by the Senate.
The Hill reports that the fiscal cliff deal approved by both the House and Senate contains a one-sentence provision blocking the raise just for Congress members.
More from the Huffington Post:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) slammed Obama for bringing "unnecessary drama" by approving a Congressional pay raise in the midst of the fiscal cliff fight.
Obama signed an executive order Thursday calling for an end to a years-long pay freeze that would give returning members of Congress, federal workers and Vice President Joe Biden a half-percent to one percent pay increase. The fiscal cliff deal blocked that pay hike for members of Congress.
Before Congress passed the fiscal cliff deal, Bachmann introduced legislation to take away the pay increase. The former GOP presidential hopeful claimed Obama "decided to take the law into his own hands and in effect become his own congress" by giving it approval...
"This is drama. Unnecessary drama," Bachmann said. "President Obama bears the responsibility for his failure to lead and his intentional effort it appears to mislead the American republic with this cynical bill."
Some might argue taking to the House floor to decry a pay raise that's been blocked the night before by the Democrat-controlled Senate constitutes "unnecessary drama" as well, but Michele's never been one to turn down an opportunity for some Obama-bashing political theater.
Patch.com transcribed the entirety of Bachmann's floor speech, and the C-SPAN footage has been uploaded to YouTube. Click to page two to check those out.
And here's the Patch transcript:
I, too, was shocked when I saw that the president of the United States, out of nowhere, at no request from any member of congress, had issued a unilateral executive order. Which means he decided to take the law into his own hands and in effect become his own congress and decide unilaterally, at the height of the fiscal cliff debate, that he would throw a new wrench into that argument.
And it would be this: When there is massive uncertainty, unfinished business, he would decide, that he would unilaterally give a pay increase to the United States Congress, exactly when the public is uncertain and doesn't know what's going to happen. Will their taxes go up? Will they no longer be recipients of a spending program? And so now Congress is going to get a spending increase?
This was a cynical, planned move, Mr. Speaker, on the part of our president. He brought great drama to this effort. Unnecessary drama. Because you see this House of Representatives already did the job to avert the fiscal cliff. We did this work. It was completed last August. We said that no one's taxes need to go up. And we were able to offset any spending cuts. The work was done.
The problem is, the Senate never took up the completed work of the house. And the president of the United States spent the last half of this year continually castigating the House of Representatives for not having this work done. When we did our work.
So out of nowhere, again, not at the request of congress, the president decided to make a very unlovely party to this conversation, the congress, even less palatable, by putting upon us the idea that we wanted to raise our own salary when we had nothing whatsoever to do with that.
That's why over the weekend, I directed my staff that we would put forth a bill to take away this unilateral increase in salary for Congress at the president's hand. We put our bills together. Mr. Fitzpatrick put his bill together. We both introduced bills yesterday. And I'm very happy to be a part of this bill, as every member of Congress is happy to be for this bill. Because after all, this had nothing to do with the conversation.
This was a cynical effort on the part of the president. And I believe nothing more cynical than the fact that the current agreement with the fiscal cliff was agreed to, we're told, somewhere around 11:30 last night. The bill was voted on at 2 o'clock in the morning. Now again, this is New Year's Eve. I don't know how many senators between midnight and 2 a.m. in the morning had a chance to thoroughly read this agreement that's 157 pages long.
You see: this is not how we should run our government. This is drama. Unnecessary drama. And President Obama bears the responsibility for his failure to lead and his intentional effort it appears to mislead the American republic with this cynical bill.
That's why we are here this morning. To clarify the president's action. This was not at our behest, and we are rejecting this measure today to increase Congress' salary
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- Steven Timm charged with animal cruelty for harassing, drowning deer
- Cataclysmic boredom propels Stewart Mills into 2016 congressional race
- Man goes to meet prostitute with a trunk full of plastic and a giant empty suitcase