Democrats in the U.S. House are calling on their colleagues to increase office budgets by 20% to give the members of their staff a taxpayer-funded raise.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, made the request in a letter to the chairs of two House committees responsible for appropriating taxpayer money to staff budgets.
The move comes as many Americans continue to struggle to recover from the economic devastation wreaked by the government-mandated COVID-19 lockdowns. Unemployment is still at 6 percent, nearly double what it was before the pandemic, and there are 8.4 million fewer Americans working than there were last February.
To make matters worse, misguided federal policies have made it all but impossible for many businesses to find employees. Unemployment benefits often exceed wages, and small business owners across the country are facing bankruptcy for lack of help.
In the midst of this economic hardship, our "leaders" in Washington want a raise for the deep state. Make no mistake: congressional staffers are just as much the deep state as executive branch bureaucrats. Oftentimes, they are literally the same people moving back and forth between the two branches. Other times, these congressional staffers craft the policies and priorities our elected officials pursue. Rather than being governed by our representatives, we are often governed by unelected "staffers" who dictate what happens behind the scenes.
Increasing staff numbers is also one of the key ways Washington has grown over the decades. In 1919, members of Congress only had two staff members. In 2016, Rep. Nancy Pelosi employed 58 people and spent nearly $6 million on their salaries, according to Open the Books.
If these individuals deserve a pay increase, it shouldn't come on the backs of Americans who are already struggling to get by. But Congress has shown no willingness to restrict their spending. They throw money at every problem that comes their way, and the result is a massive, unimaginable national debt that our children and grandchildren will be forced to carry.
It's time for real accountability in Washington. The checks and balances between the three branches of government have all but failed. All three branches collude to increase their own power, which is why the people and the states must call an Article V Convention of States.
A Convention of States is called and controlled by the states and has the power to propose constitutional amendments. These amendments can limit the power, scope, and jurisdiction of the federal government--including Congress. Amendments can also force the federal government to be fiscally responsible and mandate term limits for federal officials.
We elect our representatives--not their staffs--to serve us. If they need 100 people to do their job, maybe they're doing too much. Let's reduce their power and limit their authority, and we can do it with an Article V Convention of States.