Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, is co-sponsoring a bill that would radically change the way Congress pays itself.
The Honest Compensation Act, sponsored by Rep. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., would ban honorariums - the fees congressmen receive for speaking to interest groups; would require recorded votes on pay raises; would defer any raise from taking effect until after the next election; and would no longer allow some members to pocket excess campaign funds when they retire.It would also require that raises for congressmen be considered separately from those for high-ranking judicial and executive branch employees.
"This bill deals with most of the objections I voiced during the battle we had over congressional wages earlier this year," Nielson said.
"When the people made it clear they would not stand for the current way of raising salaries and for the amount of salary increase proposed . . . it became clear, too, that something needed to be done to change the system and to restore integrity to the process.
"There is a growing feeling among my colleagues that we in Congress have to rebuild the people's confidence in the Congress before we will be able to proceed with more important issues facing us this year."