Gingrey represents Georgia's 11th District, which includes Polk County.
The pay raises are automatic and go into effect every January unless Congress holds a special vote to not grant the raise.
Gingrey Press Secretary Chris Jackson said the pay raise money would be set aside to offset the office’s operational budget. He said they would then ask for $4,700 less for operations next year, essentially putting the money back into the system.
Gingrey currently earns $169,300, which is average for a congressional member in 2008, according to LegiStorm.com. The 2.8 percent pay raise would elevate his salary to $174,000.
He said Gingrey is opposed to congressional pay raises while the country is in an economic trouble.
“We don’t need to be looking at more spending. We should be looking at cutting,” Jackson said.
According to Jackson, Gingrey supported a procedural rules vote in the 110th Congress to allow editing of the appropriations bill containing the pay raises. He also said Gingrey co-sponsored a bill, House Resolution (HR) 500 or the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, which states that in times of a federal budget deficit or some other economic need, then the automatic pay raises would be null and voided for that year.
However, Jackson said that bill died in committee. He said Gingrey would be co-sponsoring a similar bill when Congress convenes this month.
The automatic pay raises are a result of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, which was an attempt to create a pay raise formula based on private sector wages as measured by the Employment Cost Index, according to CRS Report to Congress published last February.
The pay raise is automatic unless Congress prohibits it, revises it, or unless the annual base pay adjustment of General Schedule employees is lower than the raise proposed for Congress. Then Congress must accept the lower rate.
Congress has denied itself a pay raise only once in the past eight years. The raise was stopped in 2007 when Democrats made it an issue in order to get the minimum wage increased.