VIDEO: ‘This is Drama:’ Bachmann Blasts Obama's 'Cynical' Pay Hike for Congress

The congresswoman introduced legislation to rescind the increase, and called the raise a "cynical effort on the part of the president." The full transcript of her speech is below.

OUTSIDE MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Minnesota's Sixth District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann introduced legislation Tuesday to take away a recently approved pay increase for members of the U.S. Congress. The increase was part of President Barack Obama's executive order.

She spoke on the House floor Tuesday morning against the increase. Bachmann issued a statement saying, "We have a spending problem in our country and we should be looking for areas to cut spending, not increase it."

Her full address on the House floor is transcribed below, and is in the attached video.

I, too, was shocked when I saw that the president of the United States, out of nowhere, at no request from any member of congress, had issued a unilateral executive order. Which means he decided to take the law into his own hands and in effect become his own congress and decide unilaterally, at the height of the fiscal cliff debate, that he would throw a new wrench into that argument.

And it would be this: When there is massive uncertainty, unfinished business, he would decide, that he would unilaterally give a pay increase to the United States Congress, exactly when the public is uncertain and doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Will their taxes go up? Will they no longer be recipients of a spending program? And so now Congress is going to get a spending increase?

This was a cynical, planned move, Mr. Speaker, on the part of our president. He brought great drama to this effort. Unnecessary drama. Because you see this House of Representatives already did the job to avert the fiscal cliff. We did this work. It was completed last August. We said that no one’s taxes need to go up. And we were able to offset any spending cuts. The work was done. 

The problem is, the Senate never took up the completed work of the house. And the president of the United States spent the last half of this year continually castigating the House of Representatives for not having this work done. When we did our work.

So out of nowhere, again, not at the request of congress, the president decided to make a very unlovely party to this conversation, the congress, even less palatable, by putting upon us the idea that we wanted to raise our own salary when we had nothing whatsoever to do with that.

That’s why over the weekend, I directed my staff that we would put forth a bill to take away this unilateral increase in salary for Congress at the president’s hand. We put our bills together. Mr. Fitzpatrick put his bill together. We both introduced bills yesterday. And I’m very happy to be a part of this bill, as every member of Congress is happy to be for this bill. Because after all, this had nothing to do with the conversation.

This was a cynical effort on the part of the president. And I believe nothing more cynical than the fact that the current agreement with the fiscal cliff was agreed to, we’re told, somewhere around 11:30 last night. The bill was voted on at 2 o’clock in the morning. Now again, this is New Year’s Eve. I don’t know how many senators between midnight and 2 a.m. in the morning had a chance to thoroughly read this agreement that’s 157 pages long.

You see: this is not how we should run our government. This is drama. Unnecessary drama. And President Obama bears the responsibility for his failure to lead and his intentional effort it appears to mislead the American republic with this cynical bill.

That’s why we are here this morning. To clarify the president’s action. This was not at our behest, and we are rejecting this measure today to increase Congress’ salary. 

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Harold Moore January 02, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Before you shoot your mouth off you need to google and discover who spent the most, Ronald Ragen, Genious George Idiot Bush spent far more than Obama. Not only did the GOP spend more, we are still trying to pay off what Bush put us in debt. Veterans will be recieving benefits the next 70 years, yes, your children's children will be paying because of your hero. The GOP is imploding within. Christy and other Republicans are trashing your dysfunctional hate filled party. The end is near for the GOP and the rise of the Democrats will control all votes going forward. Sit back and enjoy the ride out in the sunset to be forgotten for a long time to come.
David January 02, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Please. Really? Ok I get it that you don't want a pay raise and I also get that the raise itself is bad timing but we need to think about who the raise was intended for. "Federal Employees". Read the entire order. Unfortunately MB had to take it and twist it like she did. She's the one that created the drama. I hope she's tired of being the stooge for the GOP.
JoJo January 02, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Leila, you really need to stop sending your Bachmann-related Patch post links to the far leftist machine. It's rather humorous to see at this point. There is no way on earth that this post could have received this many local posts. If you don't want to be the editor of a small conservative area, please move on (as in one of your favorite orgs...) and leave St Michael to someone who gets the area, and isn't trying to manipulate change in the area. Your little Patch is going to become obsolete. I can see right through you.
J. Step January 02, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Thank you for proving my analysis of the truly ignorant. Like I have stated before, you can't have a battle of wits with an unarmed individual.
JoJo January 02, 2013 at 11:48 PM
You do realize that Obama DICTATED that raise, right? Your guy made them take the money, and Michele was trying to make him take it back because it was irresponsible and a poor message to the taxpayers of America. I don't know how you keep supporting him. Is dictating like that part of the "goals we asked him to" accomplish?
J. Step January 03, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I am thankful for all of the leftest liberal comments. I hope, slowly but surely, the sensible will see them for what they are. It's disappointing that so many are just sycophants who will blindly follow who ever will offer them the most. If you are a follower of history you will know that before every powerful society has fallen, they look to and vote for whomever will give them a hand out. We have been successful as a capitalistic society. You cant teach a man to fish if you are giving him one that has been paid for by another.
Mike Gindele January 03, 2013 at 12:52 AM
It is time for We The People to do an Executive order of our own. Lets remove this Tyrant Obama from office and send him back to Kenya. Thank you Michele Bachmann for sticking up for the tax payers of this country. There are alot of loosers out there that dont want to work so there for they dont pay taxes. And they certainly dont pay attention to where tax payer money is being spent. Need more Michele Bachmann's out there. God bless her.
Rob M January 03, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Fairness_Equity_Truth....? Really? Okay Gary Novotny... I see you've changed your name. You are just continually proving my point. It is a sad shame. We need some opened minded people to debate the issues and only the issues. Stop attacking people on a personal level. Work together and do what is best for the Country not the Party. What happen to Country first? Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves. Obama is destroying this Country in every way and stepping all over our constitution like it doesn't exist but hey, he is cool... So we should just follow him off the cliff and spend more than we take in everyday. Just spend and tax our way to prosperity. Yeah, that will work, it is doing wonders over in Greece.
Rick January 05, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Brian, maybe you should look a little closer at who favors corporate America. Yes, regulations are passd that hurt business, but it's big business that can afford those regs, not he small businesses which liberals AND Obama are forcing into bankruptcy. And you can then examine the kook envirowhackos. It's those people forcing business out of this country and causing unemployment. wages are a myth. Liberals refuse to budge n the corporate income tax, thus making business here less competetive. To make matters worse, that charade in the White House raised taxes. The few roadblocks standing in this guys way from totally wrecking this country is Bachmann. I just wonder how may people in here that dislike Bachmann for her openness are gvmt workers or are somehow saddled to the gvmt, i.e. through contracts or services provided.
Rick January 05, 2013 at 11:53 PM
My pay has been frozen for four years and my taxes and SSI deferrment just went up. For every tax/fee that this out of control spending gvmt imposes, we find a place to throttle back. Like buying generic instead of name brand. Eventually the big corps will see it on their bottom line and they'll use what's left of their profit to whip this defunct White House into shape. Which shouldn't be a problem. Obama is nothing but a little boy in a mans body. He does nothing himself. He is nothing but a sideshow comedy act.
Rick January 06, 2013 at 12:00 AM
So Beth, no problem with Obama bypassing Constitutional law and ignoring Congress by writing executive order after executive order? Or not having a budget for over four years now? And btw, .5% is .5%. If it's not big deal to you, then let's see you out beating the drum for an across the board .5% tax increase on everything. Fuel, grocery, cars, the works. Point is is no one has the guts to start severing entitlements (a gross misuse of the word btw) and some of these idiotic state and federal agencies. Over $2trillion in American dollars is overseas from corporate income. Why is it over there? It's subject to a 35% tax. That's $700 BILLION that companies would write a check to DC for, just to watch it wasted. So yes. As a Republican I am against damn near everything Obama does. It's threatening my livlihood and food on my table.
Rick January 06, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Why don't you tell that to her face there Dana?
Rick January 06, 2013 at 12:16 AM
F_E_T... Attack Hillary???? My God, are you serious??? Want to talk attacks, let's talk about Benghazi. She let four people swing. This "little fall" and subsequent concussion and blood clot is comical. This is NOTHING but this womans act of circling the wagons with her aides to get her story straight. Keep in mind, the media is pushing her to run in 2016. Not that a black eye on her record will do any harm. One only has to look at the covering fire the media gives Obama and they should realize that these people can literally get away with murder. Fast and Furious? Where's Holder and the investigation? Benghazi. Cover up. Voter fraud, supression, intimidation? Zippo. Money poured into "green energy" projects to see them go bankrupt yet somehow the CEO can come up with millions for Obama's PAC. Earth to Fairness_Equity_Truth, Earth to Fairness_Equity_Truth!!!
Rick January 06, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Yep, that's your version of a utopian world isn't it Harry? No opposition so your maniacal party can rule like the true communist leaning socialists that you are. People like you are truly scary. You show your educational level by not truly having a grasp of how gvmt really works. God help us if you end up realizing your "dream." We will live in squalor. Loike the residents of Hong Kong. Forced to live in urban cesspools. Private property seized. Think I'm BS'ing? For starters there are liberals such as Theresa Ghilarducci making comments such as: "Her proposal calls for knocking down the 401(k) plan system and replacing it with a government-run pension plan funded by employee contributions. Participants would be guaranteed an inflation-beating return and a lifetime stream of income.Employees would make mandatory contributions equal to at least 5 percent of their earnings. Workers could contribute higher amounts if they wish." In casr this socialist didn't realize it, this is social security, yet she advocates seizure of sovergn 401k's. This is the face of Liberalism folks. This is as close to becoming full blown socialist as one can get. This should terrify even liberals that an economist can actually testify before Congress that seizing 401k's is justifiable.
Grace McGarvie January 06, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Bachman is a drama queen! Federal employees have not had a pay raise in three years. Obama signed an executive order giving them a .5% raise. Members of Congress are federal employees. Federal Employees do the work that keeps American government going - that means Social Security, the Pentagon, the interstate highway system, etc. Why do the Republicans object to workers getting paid living wages, but constantly extend tax breaks for the top 1%?????
Lynne January 06, 2013 at 02:33 PM
I agree with with her issue and applaud her speaking out. . I disagree with her presentation. She needs to make her point and be respectful about it. I think that is what bothers me the most about politics thses days, lack of respect in spite of differing opinions.
Barry L. January 06, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Can any one on this list say they received a pay raise? or any other benefit from their job in the last 4 years...Times are tough, our families, neighbors are struggling and congress gets a pay raise Lets just ask them to be on the same health care plan they voted in...Look around you we need to cut expenses...Pull the military base back from over seas. Stop foreign aid, kick out people that are illegal to work here in America. Lets just stop letting people come here illegaly. Take care of the senors and educate our American children, feed our own people. Dose this make me sound like a NUT? If Obama deals out pay raises it is to get some thing back...Ask Ellison to give back his last 2 raises...
Rick January 06, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Grace, what about us in the private sector who haven't had a raise in FOUR years? And OUR taxes go to pay those folks you cited below. This is the issue liberals are so good at. Class envy. It's like teachers. No one is blasting the gvmt workers. Are there bad ones? Yes. Is there overkill? Yes. Then blame the unions that protect the bad and terrorize the good. We all have been tightening our belts. The biggest issue is the spending. See a few of my other posts in here for some classic examples of what we have to do. And for all of you naysayers and arrogant hitmen/women out there, go read Bachmanns bio. You may not like her disposition, but her education and occupational history are something to be revered.
Frank Porter January 06, 2013 at 05:27 PM
They did all the work? Wow she is even more delusional than I thought. Interesting article from the times when the "freeze" was passed. By Paul Krugman. "On Monday, we got the answer: he announced a pay freeze for federal workers. This was an announcement that had it all. It was transparently cynical; it was trivial in scale, but misguided in direction; and by making the announcement, Mr. Obama effectively conceded the policy argument to the very people who are seeking — successfully, it seems — to destroy him. The truth is that America’s long-run deficit problem has nothing at all to do with overpaid federal workers. For one thing, those workers aren’t overpaid. Federal salaries are, on average, somewhat less than those of private-sector workers with equivalent qualifications. And, anyway, employee pay is only a small fraction of federal expenses; even cutting the payroll in half would reduce total spending less than 3 percent. So freezing federal pay is cynical deficit-reduction theater. It’s a (literally) cheap trick that only sounds impressive to people who don’t know anything about budget realities. The actual savings, about $5 billion over two years, are chump change given the scale of the deficit. Anyway, slashing federal spending at a time when the economy is depressed is exactly the wrong thing to do. Just ask Federal Reserve officials, who have lately been more or less pleading for some help in their efforts to promote faster job growth."
Edith Burnier January 06, 2013 at 07:26 PM
We have only ourselves to blame. If we had not made all the jokes about her pursuing a Swiss passport, she would be leaving in Berne with Markus by now we could go back to intelligent political discourse.
JoJo January 07, 2013 at 02:02 AM
And this drama is Bachmann's fault HOW? Why is it even called "drama"? It sure appears that the drama is inserted AFTER the fact by the extreme hatred of those who don't know her and have no clue because of where they get their "news." Obama once again used his heavy hand and forced more spending. Doesn't anyone get it yet? He's killing our country with this spending and everyone is up in arms about Bachmann's speaking to the camera (that would be us, her constituents) instead of the yahoos in the front of the room. (for one example).
Rick January 07, 2013 at 01:57 PM
What's your tax rate Edith? Are you employed and by whom. Judging by most peoples comments, you're pensioners or gvmt workers. If 3/4's of the people who type such vile comments in blogs and forums actually did some research, they'd be shocked about the lack of information that makes themselves mirror observing know-it-alls. I can hardly wait to witness the screaming and outrage when obamycare licks in full tilt. "Entitlements" which is a gross misuse of the word, are in part one of the reasons this country is sliding into the sewer. Just wait, that's all I can say. You people who voted for the little boy in a mans body and the rest of these liberals who give away the bank to stay elected are going to have a severe wakeup call.
Rick January 07, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Right on the money JoJo.
dg January 07, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Does nobody realize that for the last 4 years the goal of the republican (tea party) was to make sure Obama did not get reelected. If they would have focus on the counties issue instead of trying to make Obama look bad, maybe something would have gotten done.. Instead the unintelligent tea baggers think Obama is going to destroy this country.. Instead you know who will it will be all of the stupid republicans that refuse to work with this man. The Republican Party shows no respect to our president. I myself did not vote for Bush, but I did live through the 8 years of crap he put us through and did the demos show him any disrespect. All tea baggers and republicans must live in a cave... oh wait that's right Republicans never take ownership for their own mistakes.. Like voting in Michelle again.
dg January 07, 2013 at 07:32 PM
And what could Obama do when you have a house that is control by the Republicans? Stop blaming Obama for what your party did not do in the last 4 years,.
nancy burton January 08, 2013 at 12:57 AM
doesn't anyone realize this woman is part of the problem. She and her husband receive $250,000 each year in farm subsidies, tax breaks for their business. changing gay people to straight people, and paid by the 2%, lobbiest and norquest to vote their issues. People everyone needs to start looking further into what all of congress do and what they receive from who they receive as they are not looking out for the countries best interest and surely not the peoples interest
Rick January 08, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Juice, pure garbage it's too expensive. Go read the bill. There is so much pork attached to that bill it's disgusting. $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.$58.8 million for forest restoration on private land. $197 million “to… protect coastal ecosystems and habitat impacted by Hurricane Sandy.” $10.78 billion for public transportation, most of which is allocated to future construction and improvements, not disaster relief. $17 billion for wasteful Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a program that has become notorious for its use as a backdoor earmark program. $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC. Yep, what's the above have to do with Sandy? And what is the states responsibilities?
Kitzer January 11, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Why is this 'LOW LIFE' featured in the Minnetonka Patch??? IT does NOT represent Minnetonka!!!
JoJo January 11, 2013 at 05:19 AM
Hey Kitzer, you are right. This editor seems to be sending the link to this article to various locations where Michele Bachmann is not representing anyone, just to get negative comments. Please aim your complaint at Leila, who needs to stop manipulating the news. We are supposed to be getting links to our local stuff mainly.
JoJo January 11, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Oops, Liala, not Leila.


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