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Commission recommends pay freeze for Congress, not troops

The president’s commission on reducing the deficit has recommended freezing the salaries for Congress, but not troops.

Last month, the commission’s co-chairs released a draft report that recommended freezing basic military pay and housing allowances for three years starting in 2011. But the commission’s final report dropped that recommendation. It does call for a three-year pay freeze for federal employees and Department of Defense civilians – one year longer than the freeze proposed by President Obama.

The report also recommends freezing salaries for members of Congress for three years.

“Unlike most Americans, members of Congress benefit from an automatic salary increase every single year – deserved or not,” the report says. “Before Congress can ask the American people to sacrifice, it should lead by example. The Commission recommends an immediate three-year salary freeze for all members of Congress.”

The recommendation comes as outgoing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has called for a pay freeze for some troops. A spokeswoman for Hoyer did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

The deficit commission is expected to vote on the recommendations in the final report on Friday. Fourteen of the commission’s 18 members need to vote in favor of the recommendations in order for the measures to go to Congress, which would have to pass them before they could become law.

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