Congress Helps Self to $3,100 Pay RaiseBy DAVID ESPO
The Associated Press
Friday, November 18, 2005; 11:44 PM
WASHINGTON -- The Republican-controlled Congress helped itself to a $3,100 pay raise on Friday, then postponed work on bills to curb spending on social programs and cut taxes in favor of a two-week vacation. ...
Both the House and Senate were in session after midnight Thursday, working on the tax and deficit-cutting bills at the heart of the GOP agenda, before returning to work a few hours later.
"What it does is start to turn down the escalating costs ... for our children and our grandchildren. One of the things that we cannot leave to that next generation is a huge deficit that they can't afford," House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said after enactment of a $50 billion deficit-reduction bill.
Democrats dissented, with one eye on the 2006 elections.
"The Republicans are taking food out of the mouths of children to give tax cuts to America's wealthiest. This is not a statement of America's values," said the Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California. "Democrats believe that together, America can do better," she said, invoking the party's new campaign slogan.
The cost-of-living increase for members of Congress _ which will put pay for the rank and file at an estimated $165,200 a year _ marked a brief truce in the pitched political battles that have flared in recent weeks on the war and domestic issues.
So much so that the issue was not mentioned on the floor of either the House or Senate as lawmakers worked on legislation whose passage will assure bigger paychecks.House votes to cut $700 mln in food stamps
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to cut $700 million from the food stamp program, despite objections from antihunger groups complaining that estimates show some 235,000 people would lose benefits.
The House bill, which also trimmed other social programs for the poor in an effort to reduce federal spending by $50 billion, was narrowly approved 217-215.
House and Senate negotiators now must write a final, compromise version of legislation to pare federal spending over five years. The Senate did not touch food stamps in its version of a $35 billion budget-cutting bill.
Food stamps, the major U.S. antihunger program, help poor people buy food. Some 25.8 million Americans received food stamps in a program run by the U.S. Agriculture Department.
Congress Cuts Foodstamps, Give Selves Raise!!!