Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is leading the charge to eliminate any increase in member representational allowance (MRA). The measure would prohibit an MRA increase in any year that the national unemployment rate is above 6 percent or in any previous fiscal year that the Treasury Department has declared the nation’s debt more than $5.5 trillion.
“Until this Congress addresses the fundamental challenges facing our economy, I believe we need to start feeling the same pain as the American people,” Heller said at a Legislative Branch Subcommittee on Appropriations hearing Wednesday.
“When it comes to our own office budgets, Congress has spent without regard for our constituents’ hardships.”
The measure has been referred to the House Administration Committee. Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.) said that while he wasn’t certain whether the bill was scheduled to be taken up, he could see where Heller was coming from.
“I can certainly understand what he’s talking about, when the country’s hurting and we’re spending money ourselves, so I’ll look into it,” he said in an interview.