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Letter: No Raises Across the Board

Too many American’s didn’t get a raise this year, and I don’t think Members of Congress should either. That’s why I supported and helped pass legislation to freeze Congressional salaries for the fourth year in a row.

As our economy continues on a slow recovery, Long Island families are still trying to do more with less. Too many middle class workers have been caught in a job search for far too long, and those who do have jobs are worried about keeping them. Although the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent last month – the lowest it’s been in three years – we still have a lot of work to do. I believe we need to focus on how to get the American people raises before we pass our own.

If members of Congress want to see salary increases next year we need to start making bold moves – like cutting subsidies for oil companies and closing corporate loopholes. We need to fully extend the middle class payroll tax cut without political conditions and revive the commuter tax benefit to protect middle class families from further hardship.

I’ll continue fighting for those middle class solutions, and I hope that Congress will find something to compromise on other than our salaries.

Steve Israel
Second Legislative District