On Friday’s episode of Fox News‘ The Ingraham Angle, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) told host Laura Ingraham that it’s time for members of Congress to take a pay cut.
According to Fox, Patrick lambasted representatives in Washington for continuing to collect paychecks while Congress is on hiatus; meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans are out of work thanks to business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m really tired of Nancy Pelosi and Congress because they’re not hurt by this, Laura, they make $174,000 a year,” Patrick said, according to Fox.
He went on: “They have not had their pay cut — they’re at home; they’re doing nothing. It’s time for them to get back to work and quite frankly, I think they have to take a half-pay cut.”
The Washington Post reported last week that some 22 million Americans are now unemployed, largely because of business closures forced by coronavirus-related orders. Not among them, however, are members of Congress, who have been working from home since passing what Newsweek called a “historic $2 trillion economic stimulus” package late last month.
Accordingly, as Patrick said Friday, these individuals had not had to suffer financial loss. Their paychecks, which for most U.S. representatives and senators amount to a total of at least $174,000 each year, are still coming in.
To Patrick, the contrast between the average American and members of Congress seems unfair — and members of the legislature ought to do something about it.
“It’s time for Congress to take a pay cut so they feel some of this pain that people at home are feeling, because Congress isn’t feeling any pain,” Patrick told Ingraham, according to Fox. “The people in the small businesses are. Get back to work and cut your pay and show that you’re with us.”
“Volunteer public servants”
The lieutenant governor isn’t afraid to live up to his words, either. According to Ballotpedia, Patrick brings in a yearly salary of just $9,612.
Meanwhile, Patrick characterized lawmakers in Texas as “volunteer public servants,” telling Ingraham, according to Fox, that they “make about $600 per month,” or $7,200 a year — a far cry from the $174,000 salary of U.S. Congress members. The state’s governor, Greg Abbott (R), is paid $150,000 per year, Ballotpedia reported.
On the bright side, it seems at least some in Congress realize that they have it better than most in the country right now. Late last month, “Sen. Rob Portman [R-OH] announced [that] he will donate his Senate salary through May to five regional organizations in Ohio working to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak,” The Hill reported at the time.
Only time will tell if more lawmakers follow suit.