Not only has Congressman Walz turned down his last two pay raises, but he signed on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 156, legislation authored by Harry Mitchell (D-AZ) and Ron Paul (R-TX) that would prevent an automatic raise in 2010.
only member one of two members of Minnesota's congressional delegation among the 72 77 sponsors, was on board when the bill was introduced on January 6. [Update 1/14] since we posted this earlier in the day, Congressman Collin Peterson's name was added tothe list of co-sponsors [end update].
This fact makes the pontificating about automatic pay raises by the state's media--without mentioning Walz's refusal of the raise--even more baffling.
We'd posted about the editorials on January 6, but didn't realize until today that he was co-sponsoring the bill as well. From the looks of it, his office didn't send out a press release on it---and we've been slacking off on our due diligence at this blog.
And so yet another reader writes the New Ulm Journal to note how the paper failed to acknowledge that Walz had refused his automatic COLA pay raises. DFL activist Charles Zea (who has forgotten more about bean feeds than most people will ever know) writes in Walz lives up to his pledge:
On the Opinion page of the New Ulm Journal, posted January 8, 2009, there was an article addressing the automatic pay raise for members of congress. In this article it is stated that the automatic raise would affect the pay of 535 lawmakers. This number is incorrect, it should be 534. One congressman, which I know of, refused the raised and turned it back to the US Treasury, both this year and last year.
Rep. Tim Walz pledge to return his congressional pay raises to the US Treasury until the Federal budget is balanced. Rep. Walz is living up to his pledge.
It was stated in the article that "Members of Congress should set a good example by refusing the raises." One Congressman did refuse the raise, our congressman, Rep. Tim Walz, yet it went unmentioned by the author of the opinion piece. Was this an over sight on the author's part or was the author too busy painting every lawmaker in Congress the same color with a right-handed broad brush.
There are other members of Congress turning those raises down, Mr. Zea, and they are seeking to block another automatic raise in 2010. It's just that in Minnesota, you'll have to read obscure regional bloggers (and the Minnesota Independent) to know that.
Last month we posted an entry about how Congressman Walz [was] to continue returning pay raises to U.S. Treasury, just as he did in 2008. The Minnesota Independent picked up on our post in Walz returns congressional raise, again. A Worthington area resident spoke up on January 7 in Worthington Globe LTE: Walz won't be taking a pay raise and a Sleepy Eye resident's LTE to the New Ulm Journal about Walz turning down the raise was published on January 10, before Mr. Zea's epistle.