With a resounding "no," the Senate voted against an automatic $3,100 pay raise in an effort to seek help with hurricane relief efforts.
By a 92-6 margin, the Senate approved the amendment that would block the annual pay raise members of Congress award themselves every January. A vote will also be held in the House.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., described it as a "symbolic" gesture that would save roughly $2 million.
Members of the House and Senate are paid an annual salary of $162,100. Leaders in each chamber receive extra pay.for example, with House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., receives $208,100. The Senate amendment to cancel next year's pay raise was attached to a fiscal 2006 spending bill funding the Treasury Department and other federal agencies.
Lawmakers are currently debating whether to cut health care and other programs for the poor to help offset some hurricane relief costs. Other programs under consideration for cuts include student loans. A proposal to cut food stamps was defeated.
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