January 31, 2011 - 2:44 pm

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to abolish automatic pay raises for members of Congress.

The new legislation mirrors a bill introduced by Webb and Sen. Russ Feingold during the last Congress.  

“With many Americans still out of work and trying to figure out how to pay their bills, now is not time to give Congress an automatic pay raise,” said Webb. “As a matter of fairness, I am continuing to work to change this policy.” 

Congress passed individual bills to prevent a pay raise for 2010 and 2011.  However, those bills did not permanently remove future automatic pay raises as this new legislation would.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee jabbed Webb, who has yet to announce whether he will seek reelection in 2012, in a release Monday afternoon, calling the measure a gimmick.

“When Virginians consider that the national debt has grown by over $5 trillion just since Senator Webb came to the Senate, they might rightfully ask why addressing government spending wasn’t a priority for his first four years in office,” said NRSC Press Secretary Chris Bond.  “Voters know better, and they won’t be fooled by these election-cycle gimmicks designed to mask Webb’s four-year record of big spending in Washington. They won’t forget that instead of standing up for Virginia taxpayers, Webb rubberstamped President Obama’s costly health care overhaul, failed $787 billion stimulus debacle, and billions of dollars in additional spending that has driven our national debt past $14 trillion.”

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) along with Sens. Webb, John McCain (R-AZ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Patty Murray (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT).