Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Monique Curet
By Monique Curet March 16, 2022

Claim is false that members of Congress got a pay raise

If Your Time is short

Salaries did not increase for members of the U.S. Congress after the passage of a recent government spending bill. The salaries have not increased since 2009.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives received an increase in their office budgets, which pay for staff and other official expenses. 

Social media posts falsely claim that members of Congress will get a pay raise.

"Everything sucks under Joe Biden, unless you are in Congress. In that case, you just gave yourself a 21% raise…unreal," says a March 14 post on Instagram. It was shared by Carl Higbie, a host at conservative outlet Newsmax, and was a screenshot of his tweet.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Salaries for members of Congress did not increase when Congress passed a $1.5 trillion government spending bill in March 2022.

The bill that passed "continues a provision to freeze the pay of members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in (fiscal year 2022)," according to a bill summary by Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "A freeze on members’ salaries has been in place since 2009."

Featured Fact-check

Members of Congress have earned an annual salary of $174,000 since the last pay increase in 2009, according to the Congressional Research Service.

In the 2022 spending bill, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives received an increase in their office budgets, known as Members Representational Allowance, according to a summary of the bill by the House Appropriations Committee. The allowance is used for staff, travel, rent, utilities, communications, supplies and equipment, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The $774.4 million allocated in 2022 for the Members Representational Allowance is $134 million higher than the previous year — a 21% increase. It’s the largest increase since the Members Representational Allowance was authorized in 1996.

We rate the claim that members of Congress gave themselves a 21% pay raise False. 


Our Sources

Congressional Research Service, "Members’ Representational Allowance: History and Usage," updated Aug. 13, 2020

Congressional Research Service, "Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables," updated Jan. 25, 2022

House Appropriations Committee, "Funding for the people," accessed March 16, 2022

Instagram post, March 14, 2022

Instagram profile, "Carl Higbie," accessed March 16, 2022

PolitiFact, "Newsmax," accessed March 16, 2022

Roll Call, "Legislative Branch bill boosts Members Representational Allowance, Capitol Police," March 9, 2022

Senate Appropriations Committee, Republican members, "FY22 OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS PACKAGE – TOPLINE SUMMARY," accessed March 16, 2022

The Hill, "House passes sweeping $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill," March 9, 2022

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Monique Curet

Claim is false that members of Congress got a pay raise

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up