WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A Utah congressman says he has joined forces with a government watchdog group to protest an automatic congressional pay raise of $4,700.
The 2.8 percent increase over the current $169,300 salary for most members occurs Thursday, the Deseret Morning News reported Monday.
Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste say the raise is unconscionable at a time when so many people are suffering from the failing economy.
"The notion that Congress should be having an automatic pay raise without even a vote just doesn't pass the smell test," said Matheson.
Tom Schantz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said Congress should be "mortified" to accept a raise when it allowed the deficit to swell and the economy to swing so badly out of control.
"If congressional leaders believe that the taxpayers should give pay raises to this rogues' gallery of ineptitude and venality, they ought to step away from the spiked eggnog," Schantz said, urging an emergency vote against the raise.