A kind friend sent us this press release from the Walz campaign, in which he lives up to a campaign promise :
Mankato – Freshman Representative Tim Walz announced today that as part of his pledge to return fiscal responsibility to the Congress, he will return an anticipated 2008 pay raise to the U.S. Treasury. Members of Congress are scheduled to receive a 2008 Cost of Living Adjustment this month, which will raise their pay 2.5 percent. Unless the Congress votes to block the COLA increase as they did in 2007, Members’ annual salaries will increase by $4,130, from $165,200 to $169,300
“I am committed to fiscal responsibility and to changing the way Washington works,” said Rep. Walz. “The reinstatement of pay-as-you-go budgeting has finally put this country back on the right track towards a balanced budget, but until we reach that milestone I will refuse any pay increase.”
“I came here to change our priorities in Washington . I don’t think it’s fair for Congress to give itself a pay raise when it can’t stick to a budget,” said Walz. “I made a promise to the people of southern Minnesota, and I intend to keep it.”
During December, Walz expressed his displeasure when the Democratic Congress passed a bill that violated the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rule in order to provide a one-year fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax. Walz, who had twice previously voted for AMT fixes which met PAYGO rules, refused to support legislation that increased the federal deficit.
The Congressional Budget office projects that the federal deficit for FY2007 at $172 billion. The federal debt is nearly $9 trillion.
Walz pledged in March of 2006 to refuse increases to his congressional salary until the federal budget was balanced. During his 2006 campaign, Walz also pledged to reject pay increases until the minimum wage was increased, which the Democratic Congress succeeded in doing during 2007.
The Walz congressional office can't remind voters of campaign promises, but the campaign office--and bloggers and other media--can.
We'd also like to remind readers that State Rep. Randy Demmer--who touts his own fiscal conservatism --took per diems for the two days in May when he was absent from doing the people's business in St. Paul while attending National Republican Congressional Committee Candidate school. (Demmer told the Rochester Post Bulletin that he only missed a few unimportant votes, but DJ dismantled that claim).
We'll take fiscal responsibility any day over the rhetoric of fiscal conservatism. Some folks talk the talk. Walz has literally put his money where his mouth is--and sent the money back to the Treasury. Good for him.