The Games Congress Plays

Lawmakers scheme to raise their pay while pretending otherwise

"That's what leaders are for, to take the heat," drawled House Speaker Jim Wright, sporting his trademark country-boy grin. It has seldom been hotter than it has been since plans for a 51% pay hike for top Government officials, including members of Congress, touched off a political fire storm.

Disk jockeys across the country broadcast Wright's telephone number, provoking a barrage of angry calls from outraged citizens. Republican Senator Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire juxtaposed a bandit's mask with a portrait of Wright, solemnly intoning that "a pay raise without a vote is stealing." Later Humphrey came as close to blows...

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