POLITICS
05/03/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Should Congress Take a Pay Cut?

A bill introduced in Congress would reduce congressional pay by five percent. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) introduced the Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act, which would cut congressional salaries for the first time since 1933.

"Families across the country are getting by on lower wages and finding ways to cut back during the downturn, and these are the folks that pay our salaries. The federal government's budget is in much worse shape, so why shouldn't senators and representatives have to feel the same pinch?" asked Kirkpatrick in a press release.

Kirkpatrick is running for re-election but holds a "safe" seat, according to Cook Political Report.

Members of Congress earn a yearly salary $174,000, in either the House or Senate, with higher salaries for leadership positions. A cost-of-living increase is built into salaries. The median income in the United States is $52,175, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.