B-206396(1),L/M, JUN 14, 1982, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

B-206396(1),L/M: Jun 14, 1982

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DIGEST: PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS WHO BELIEVE THAT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS GRANTED THEMSELVES A "COST OF LIVING" PAY INCREASE ARE ADVISED THAT THE EFFECT OF SECTION 101(C) OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 97-51. WHICH MADE CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1982 WAS TO MAINTAIN OR "FREEZE" THE RATE OF PAY ACTUALLY RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AT THE SAME LEVEL AS FOR THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LAW AUTHORIZING AN INCREASE IN THE PUBLIC DEBT LIMIT. WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY PROVISION OF LAW WHICH DIRECTLY LINKS CONGRESSIONAL PAY TO THE COST-OF -LIVING INDEX. THIS CONGRESSIONAL SALARY ADJUSTMENT IS EQUAL TO THE AVERAGE PERCENTAGE PAY ADJUSTMENT UNDER 5 U.S.C. NOTWITHSTANDING SUCH PAY ADJUSTMENT THERE WAS NO INCREASE IN THE RATE OF PAY RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR WHICH BEGAN ON OCTOBER 1.

B-206396(1),L/M, JUN 14, 1982, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

DIGEST: PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS WHO BELIEVE THAT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS GRANTED THEMSELVES A "COST OF LIVING" PAY INCREASE ARE ADVISED THAT THE EFFECT OF SECTION 101(C) OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 97-51, OCTOBER 1, 1981, AND SECTION 101(G) OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 97-92, DECEMBER 15, 1981, WHICH MADE CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1982 WAS TO MAINTAIN OR "FREEZE" THE RATE OF PAY ACTUALLY RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AT THE SAME LEVEL AS FOR THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR.

MR. RICHARD F. PETERS:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 20, 1981, TO THE PRESIDENT CONCERNING YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT AN AMENDMENT OR A "RIDER" TO THE BILL INCREASING THE PUBLIC DEBT LIMIT ALSO LINKED CONGRESSIONAL PAY TO THE COST -OF-LIVING INDEX. YOUR LETTER HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR A RESPONSE.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LAW AUTHORIZING AN INCREASE IN THE PUBLIC DEBT LIMIT, PUBLIC LAW NO. 97-49, SEPTEMBER 30, 1981, 95 STAT. 956, WHICH CONCERNS THE PAY OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. FURTHERMORE, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY PROVISION OF LAW WHICH DIRECTLY LINKS CONGRESSIONAL PAY TO THE COST-OF -LIVING INDEX.

SECTION 204(A) OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 94-82, APPROVED AUGUST 9, 1975, 89 STAT. 419, 421, 2 U.S.C. SEC. 31, PROVIDES FOR ADJUSTMENTS IN THE ANNUAL RATE OF PAY OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS BASED ON THE ANNUAL PAY ADJUSTMENT UNDER 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5305 FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PAID UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE. THIS CONGRESSIONAL SALARY ADJUSTMENT IS EQUAL TO THE AVERAGE PERCENTAGE PAY ADJUSTMENT UNDER 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5305, ROUNDED TO THE NEAREST MULTIPLE OF $100. UNDER THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN HIM BY PUBLIC LAW 94-82, THE PRESIDENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 12330, OCTOBER 15, 1981, ADJUSTED THE ANNUAL RATE OF PAY OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS EFFECTIVE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST APPLICABLE PAY PERIOD BEGINNING ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1981. HOWEVER, NOTWITHSTANDING SUCH PAY ADJUSTMENT THERE WAS NO INCREASE IN THE RATE OF PAY RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR WHICH BEGAN ON OCTOBER 1, 1981. THIS FACT IS NOTED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 12330, WHICH ALSO EXPLAINS THAT THE EFFECT OF SECTION 101(C) OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 97-51, OCTOBER 1, 1981, 95 STAT. 958, 959, WHICH MADE CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1982, WAS TO MAINTAIN OR "FREEZE" THE RATE OF PAY ACTUALLY RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AT THE SAME LEVEL AS DURING THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR. THIS "FREEZE" ON THE RATE OF PAY ACTUALLY RECEIVED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WAS MADE EFFECTIVE THROUGH THE END OF THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, SEPTEMBER 30, 1982, BY SECTION 101(G) OF PUBLIC LAW NO. 97-92, DECEMBER 15, 1981, 95 STAT. 1183, 1190, WHICH MADE FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1982.

WE TRUST THAT THIS RESPONSE SERVES THE PURPOSE OF YOUR INQUIRY.