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Obama Signs Law Freezing Member Salaries

President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill freezing Member salaries, ensuring Congress won’t get its automatic pay raise for fiscal 2011.

Congress passed the bill about two weeks ago, canceling an automatic pay raise that Congress put in place in 1989. With Obama’s signature, Members will now face a third year with a salary of $174,000.

“I am pleased that President Obama has signed this bipartisan legislation into law,” Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.), who sponsored the bill with Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), said in a statement. “This sends an important message. The American people are not getting a raise this year and neither should Congress.”

If the bill had not passed, Members would have gotten a raise of 0.9 percent, or $1,600, to keep up with inflation. Congress could technically still give itself a raise for 2011 by passing another bill, but Members are unlikely to take such an unpopular vote.

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