Washington -- U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Bill Nelson will introduce legislation that would cut pay for members of Congress if federal employees are furloughed due to the sequester. The legislation calls for a reduction in Congressional salaries once federal furloughs begin.
"The federal workforce is looking at furloughs that would result in a sizeable pay cut—and there's absolutely no reason members of Congress should exempt themselves," McCaskill said. "We can and should reach a balanced compromise to replace these damaging across-the-board cuts, but until we do, this is an obvious step to hold Congress accountable for the job we need to get done."
The pending cuts are a result of the sequestration requirement Congress passed following debt-ceiling negotiations in 2011. The 2011 legislation required Congress to produce a bill with $1.2 trillion in deficit savings by this time or face across-the-board cuts -- via sequestration -- evenly divided between defense and non-defense spending. Sequestration was designed to be so unpopular that it would force Congress to compromise and replace it with a more sensible deficit reduction approach. But Congress has failed to pass a replacement. In the coming months, the first year of sequestration will begin. As a result of the cuts, many federal workers are expected to be subject to furloughs.