(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a interview he doesn’t support a bipartisan House effort to increase pay for members of Congress for the first time in a decade, likely scuttling the effort.
“We’re not doing a COLA adjustment in the Senate,” McConnell said Thursday, referring to a cost of living allowance.
His stance effectively kills the chances of a bipartisan deal to allow a cost-of-living adjustment, which also would apply to congressional staff who have not seen a raise in a decade. House Republican leaders said they could support the increase.
House Democrats last week pulled a spending bill from floor consideration which would have allowed a $4,500 pay increase for rank-and-file members currently making $174,000 per year. Democrats from moderate districts offered amendments to the spending bill to strip out the pay increase, for fear of the political backlash from the pay raise.
During the eight-year Republican majority, the legislative branch spending bill contained a provision blocking the increase.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has spoken in favor of the increase. The House Republican campaign arm, however, sent out statements attacking Democrats for proposing it.
“My position is the same. I do not believe Congress should only be a place for millionaires,” McCarthy told reporters Thursday. “I’ve seen what Leader McConnell has said and his opposition and that does complicate the path for this to become law.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who is leading the effort to allow the raise, previously said he hoped there would be a bipartisan deal this year to allow it to go into effect.
House Democrats may put the spending bill up for a vote next week.
(Updates with McCarthy comment is seventh paragraph.)
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