CLAIM: This year, members of Congress increased their salaries by more than $40,000 while only writing checks to Americans for $1,200 and voting to increase donations by only $600.
THE FACTS: The majority of Americans received $1,200 stimulus checks as a result of President Donald Trump’s signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in late March.
A popular Facebook post this week falsely claimed that members of Congress had given themselves massive pay raises of more than $40,000 as word spread that Congress had passed a $900 billion year-end COVID relief package that would give $600 direct payments to those earning up to $75,000.ADVERTISEMENT
They gave you $1200 and will give you $600 six months later.The widely shared post states, “In the same year they gave themselves $40k + pay raises.” It concludes: “Are you pissed off yet? You should be”
The Associated Press was informed by Evan Hollander, a representative for the House Appropriations Committee, that there was no increase in congressional pay this year.
In fact, the legislation that was just passed specifically prevents the “cost of living adjustment” (COLA) that would have otherwise gone into effect, according to Hollander. Members of Congress have not received that adjustment since 2009
The bipartisan COVID relief bill has been threatened with being vetoed by President Donald Trump unless the stimulus payments are increased from $600 to $2,000 per month.
Most senators and members of the US House earn an annual salary of $174,000The majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate each earn $193,400, while the speaker of the House earns $223,500 in salary.
Since March, when Congress passed the CARES Act, the untrue rumor that Congress gave itself a raise has been making the rounds online.
This is a part of The Associated Press’ ongoing work to fact-check false information that is widely disseminated online, which includes collaboration with Facebook to track down and stop the spread of false information on the social media platform.
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