A federal appeals court ruling allows members of Congress to keep the $12,100 pay raise they received last year and continue using the law that gave them the increase.

In a 3-0 ruling Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed with a lower court ruling last year that the Federal Salary Act is constitutional.Members of Congress earn $89,500, although leaders in each house earn slightly more.

Sen. Gordon Humphrey, R-N.H., and five House Republicans challenged the act's multistep procedure: establishment of a pay study commission; the commission's recommendation to the president; a presidential decision setting the increase; and the chance for lawmakers to change the presidential ruling.