Concord - After voting himself eight pay increases while in Congress - despite growing national deficits - Congressman Bass today tried to claim he never voted to increase his own pay:
"When asked at campaign stops about Democratic ads slamming him for voting to raise his congressional pay eight times, Charlie Bass says the claims are false. "It is a fact that Charlie Bass never voted to increase his pay," spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said in a statement." [Concord Monitor¸10/20/2010]
Unfortunately for Congressman Bass, his tortured attempts to hide behind congressional procedures in order to avoid taking responsibility for his own votes have previously been exposed by many, many others as false.
Even his own congressional office bragged to reporters about his vote against the pay raise back in 1997, when he actually did vote against it (before voting in favor of it eight different times between 1999 - 2006).
"By attempting to avoid responsibility for his many votes to raise his own pay while our deficits soared, Congressman Bass is proving just how much of a Washington insider he is," said Harrell Kirstein, Press Secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "The facts show that Congressman Bass voted eight times to raise his own pay - while deficits grew and while Bass voted to cut billions in Veterans benefits. That's just wrong."
(10) NBC News: "While they can't seem to agree on tax cuts, health care or gun control, no real debate on the pay raise." [NBC News at Sunrise, "Congress Gives Itself and Next President Pay Raise," Reported by Andrea Mitchell, July 16, 1999]
(9) State News Service: "With virtually no debate and using an arcane procedure, the House quietly voted 276-147 to give representatives and senators a 3.4 percent pay boost to $141,300." [States News Service, "Raise Means Congress Will Earn $100,000 More Than U.S. Median Income," by C.J. Karamargin, July 20, 1999]
(8) 2012 Republican Presidential Contender John Thune (R-SD): "The term 'cost-of-living adjustment' may sound more appealing than the term 'pay raise.' Despite this difference of means, the end is the same." [Congressional Record, July 15, 1999]
(7) Republican Congressman Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC):"With so many of my constituents and rural Americans across the country struggling to make ends meet, it seems to me inappropriate to support a congressional pay raise." [Congressional Record, July 15, 1999]
(6) The Los Angeles Times: "The 276-147 vote came on a procedural question that leaders of both parties portrayed as a vote on the pay hike" [Los Angeles Times, 7/16/1999]
(5) The New York Times: "That vote effectively halted efforts to defeat the pay raise."["House Votes Quietly for its Pay Raise," by Jackie Koszczuk, July 21, 2000; The New York Times]
(4) The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Lazio is Assailed for Vote on Bill Including Pay Raise" [Philadelphia Inquirer, Sarah Kershaw, July 22, 2000]
(3) The conservative Boston Herald Editorial Page: "This is there third pay raise in four years. . . .How do they ever make ends meet?" [Boston Herald, Editorial, July 22, 2000]
(2) The Congressional Accountability Project: "This proposed pay grab would be wrong if our nation were at peace, but it is especially undignified and tasteless during this time of trial." [Congressional Accountability Project, press release, October 30, 2001]
( 1) Congressman Bass himself: "U.S. Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., has opposed a pay raise since he came to Congress, said spokesman David Leland. "As long as there's a deficit, he will not consider making adjustments to members' compensation basically until the country's out of the red," Leland said. ["Sununu Bass, Say No to Hike," Union Leader, September 26, 1997]
But Congressman Bass then went on to vote for these pay raises eight different times - continuing to do so as deficits soared:
1999: Bass Voted to Raise Congressional Salary by $4,600. [H.R. 2490, Vote #300, 7/15/99; Washington Times, 7/16/99; Los Angeles Times, 7/16/99]
2000: Bass Voted to Raise Congressional Salary by $3,800. [Roll Call Vote #419, 7/20/00; CQ Monitor News, 7/20/00]
2001: Bass Voted to Raise Congressional Salary by $5,000. [Roll Call Vote #267, 7/25/01]
2002: Bass Voted to Raise Congressional Salary by $4,700. [HR5120, Roll Call #322, 7/18/02; CQ Weekly, 7/20/02; CRS Report for Congress, Salaries of Members of Congress: A List of Payable Rates and Effective Dates, 1789-2006, 2/24/06]
2003: Bass Voted to Raise Congressional Salary by $3,400. [Washington Post, 9/5/03; Roll Call Vote #463, 9/4/03]
2004: Bass Voted to Raise Congressional Salary by $4,000. [H Res. 770, Vote #451, 9/14/04; Associated Press, 9/14/04; CRS Report for Congress, Salaries of Members of Congress: A List of Payable Rates and Effective Dates, 1789-2006, 2/24/06]
2005: Voted to Raise Congressional Salary by $3,100. [AP, 6/28/05; Roll Call Vote 327, 6/28/05]
2006: Bass to Raise Congressional Salary by $3,300. [Roll Call Vote 261, 6/13/06; Roll Call, 6/14/06]