Fact check: Coronavirus relief package does not include congressional pay raise
Claiming: Members of Congress gave each other an increase in the COVID-19 aid package
After news that Congress passed a roughly $ 900 billion COVID-19 relief package on December 21, some social media users took to Facebook to claim the move was a big raise for them Includes Congress Members.
A popular graph of alleged funding on the "behind your little $ 600 check" bill includes "$ 25,000,000 in extra salary for the House of Representatives," the post said.
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A similar version of the December 22nd claim, shared over 66,000 times, goes: "They gave you $ 1,200 ... six months later they give you $ 600 ... in the same year they gave yourself $ 40,000 + wages increases . "
USA TODAY has asked the users behind the posts for a comment.
Social media posts circulated in March also alleged that the CARES bill gave members of Congress a massive raise that was debunked by the US TODAY.
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Congress did not give itself a raise
The COVID-19 relief package includes custom checks, small business loans, temporary weekly fringe benefits of $ 300 per week, and $ 600 in direct payments to most Americans, the US reported TODAY. President Donald Trump has threatened not to sign the bill unless the direct payments are increased to $ 2,000.
The bill includes $ 25 billion in direct rental assistance, $ 15 billion in grants for live venues, $ 82 billion in education funding, extending the eviction moratorium and extending the small business loan program, and expanding its Eligibility included.
The government's official 5,593-page funding bill, which includes the COVID-19 legislation, makes no mention of a raise in Congress.
Section 7 of the Legislature specifically states: "Notwithstanding any other law, no adjustment may be made under Section 601 (a) of the Legislative Restructuring Act of 1946 (2 USC 4501) (relating to the cost of living adjustments for members of Congress)) in fiscal year 2021. "
House Appropriations Committee spokesman Evan Hollander confirmed to the Associated Press that congressional salaries have not increased this year.
"In fact, the recently passed legislation specifically blocks COLA (cost of living adjustment) that would otherwise have come into effect," Hollander told Associated Press.
While federal law theoretically allows for an annual adjustment to the cost of living, Congress usually votes to oppose the increase, and the last time Congress accepted a pay increase it was 2.8% in 2009, according to the Congress Institute.
The majority of senators and members of the House of Representatives receive an annual salary of $ 174,000, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
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Our rating: wrong
Claims that members of Congress raised their salaries under the Pandemic Relief Package and Government Spending Act is FALSE based on our research. The bill makes no mention of a raise in Congress. A spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee has also confirmed that congressional salaries have not increased this year.
Our fact-checking sources:
US TODAY, December 20, Legislators Achieve "Bipartisan Breakthrough," Announce $ 900 Billion COVID-19 Aid Agreement, Will Vote Monday
Associated Press, Dec. 24, No, Congress hasn't made a raise this year
Congress Institute, February 2, 2019, Who decides how much Congress will be paid?
Text of Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
Congressional Research Service, August 18, Congressman Salaries: Current Promotions and Historical Tables.
USA TODAY, March 29th, fact check: Has the house made a raise as part of the coronavirus relief package?
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This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Fact Check: No Congressional Salary Rise In The COVID Relief Package
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