Press Releases

Musgrave Votes Herself A Pay Raise - 6/16/2006


CONTACT: James Thompson (970) 222-6397


Musgrave thinks that she deserves a raise, but that U.S. troops don’t.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—This week, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave voted to allow a Congressional pay raise to pass, giving all members an increase of $3,330 a year. 

The vote was on a procedural motion to force a vote on the automatic pay raise, which Musgrave voted against (Roll Call Vote #261, 6/13/06). Under federal law, members automatically receive an annual pay raise unless Congress votes to block the increase from being implemented. The Republican-led Congress in the 1990s shunned pay raises, but lately the raise has been commonly accepted. Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson tried to block the current increase, but was defeated.

State Rep. Angie Paccione, Musgrave’s opponent in the House race for Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District, criticized Musgrave’s support for an extra burden on taxpayers already struggling to pay for mortgages, higher education, healthcare and gasoline.

“Not only has Marilyn voted to give pay raises to oil executives, pharmaceutical companies, and student loan lenders at the expense of taxpayers, she’s voted to give herself a pay raise along with them,” Paccione said.

Paccione said Musgrave’s vote is even more egregious given her previous vote to deny a $1,500 bonus to U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and reserve forces (HR 3289, Vote #554, 10/17/2003). The bonus would have been less than half the amount Congress members will receive. Musgrave also voted against the 2006 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provides $66 billion for troops overseas.

“Musgrave put herself at the front of the line for a pay raise, and she put our troops at the back of the line,” Paccione said. “This shows where her priorities lie, and it’s not with our armed forces.”

Surprisingly, last year Musgrave touted her sponsorship of a bill to halt congressional pay increases, but that bill is going nowhere in Congress. And in her 2004 election campaign, Musgrave had criticized her opponent, State Sen. Stan Matsunaka, for supporting a pay raise for the state legislature. “Sounds like she’s flip-flopping to me,” Paccione added. “This is just another example of her hypocrisy.”

Paccione noted the irony of the fact that the raise doesn’t go into effect until 2007, since, according to a recent poll, Musgrave likely will be moving back to Fort Morgan by then. “When I’m elected to Congress, I won’t put my needs ahead of my constituents’.”

Paccione suggested a pink slip for Musgrave instead of a pay raise, given her inaction on the real issues Americans face. In one instance, when asked by a Fort Collins newspaper what she had done for American schools, Musgrave, who is on the House Education Committee, said, “I’m not thinking of anything” and failed to answer the question.

“Coloradans in the Fourth District aren’t getting their money’s worth with Marilyn Musgrave. In fact, I’d say she owes us money,” Paccione said. “It’s time for real leadership, for a change, and that’s why I’m running. Instead of a pay raise, Marilyn needs a pink slip.”

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