Congress’ Latest Pay Scam


Elijah Mears

Washington D.C., the capital of the U.S., hosts members of Congress from each state.

Sabrina Bahrun, Staff Writer

*The opinions expressed within the content are solely the author’s and do not reflect the website’s or its affiliates’ opinions and beliefs.*

As Congress has shown limited responsibility for the concerns of the American people, public trust has significantly diminished. The recent controversy surrounding Congress members’ pay illustrates a troubling priority of personal gain over public accountability. This issue has prompted numerous citizens to conversate about how the government regulates its finances and the potential impact on the lower class.

Recently, members of Congress have engaged in a pay scam that increased their annual salary by 34 thousand dollars. The House Administration Committee passed a provision for this additional compensation, even though members of Congress were already earning a whopping 174 thousand dollars (more than triple the average U.S. salary). To bypass the 27th Constitutional Amendment, which prohibits any law “varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives,” the new provision was titled a “reimbursement” for their work.

Junior Ayla Eagar, highlighted her thoughts on Congress and how U.S. citizens should create change.

“Congress should not be able to get away with any pay scams, especially [if] the public is involved in their enrichment,” Eager said. “It is essential that we do something to prevent this from happening again.”

Congress must introduce legislation that represents the interests of all American citizens. However, with the pay scam recently coming to light, certain individuals have come under investigation, revealing their involvement in several financial schemes or practices to profit themselves. While the majority of Americans are prohibited from engaging in these activities, members of Congress have exempted themselves from the regulations that the rest of society is expected to abide by.

Sophomore Angelique Clairicia provided her insight on the matter.

“Government should take a greater role in regulating the economy and should make a greater effort to inform the public of what they’re doing,” Claircia said.

Furthermore, the distance between regular Americans and the elected representatives in Congress is growing. While lawmakers benefit from their positions, it is disheartening for many of these citizens to see the people they were supposed to be able to trust take advantage of them. The disengagement of people, who feel that their views and voices are not heard and are frequently overlooked, has created various issues within Congress. This pay scam is just one of several that contribute to the idea that Congress is all about enriching itself, which ultimately compromises the quality of representation for many people.

Although many may argue that Congress is protecting the public from illegal activity, it fails to do so when any individuals engage in corrupt practices for personal gain. Additionally, to restore faith in the democratic process, reforms are needed to address the concerns that U.S. citizens have within Congress. It would be beneficial to enforce stricter regulations on these scams, particularly regarding insider trading. According to Cornell Law School, insider trading could allow people to gain access to information that may impact the financial markets, and many Congress members have taken advantage of this strategy to exploit the knowledge they are privileged to for their wealth.

Junior Ariana Ahmad Shah described how Congress could initiate new policies that may positively impact the relationship between U.S. citizens and Congress.

“Creating policies, for instance, a transparency policy will impede any riots between the two,” Ahmad Shah said.

Transparency between the government and U.S. citizens is extremely crucial. Congress must become significantly involved in educating the public on their financial interests and possible potential conflicts. Implementing more robust communication between these two will ease any tension and allow for a more trusting relationship. 

Congress’s latest pay scam is an example of a change and decline in the ethical standards and service of the public. The consequences of any sort of misinformation between Congress and the public could lead to a lessened representation of citizens and a disengagement with any sort of politics with citizens. Therefore it is pivotal for the public to gain trusted and effective members in Congress. In conclusion, stricter regulations on Congress members and increasing transparency are necessary to restore faith in Congress.