Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va) said yesterday that President Ford intends to recommend raising the pay of the Chief Justice, Speaker of the House and Vice President from the present $65,600 level to $75,000 and of members of Congress and federal appeals court judges from the present $44,600 level to $57,500.
Byrd made the statement after congressional leaders met with the president early yesterday. Byrd's counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Howard H. Barker Jr. (R-Tenn), and others present at the meeting declined to say what the President had told them he would recommend.But Bryd told reporters the figures at the regular morning press briefing just before the Senate met.
The White House didn't release any figures of its own but issued a statement saying it wasn't in a position to deny what Byrd had said.
Byrd said either chamber of Congress could disapprove the increases would go into effect.
The raises to be proposed by the President are based on the recommendations of a federal pay commission but are slightly lower than the levels suggested by the commission.
Other sources said the President also plans to asks a level of $72,000 for federal Supreme Court associate justices, $65,000 for the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and for the Senate President Pro Tem, $57,500 for the Comptroller General of the United States, $57,500 for the director of the Office of Management and Budget and for under secretaries of certain federal departments.
Others on the federal executive pay scale would range from $52,500 for a Level III executive down to $47,500 for a Level IV executive. In every case, these figures are slightly lower than recommend by the pay commmission.
Figures on what the President will recommend for increases in pay for supergrade employees weren't available. However, the pay commission recommended boosting GS-18 and top GS-17 employees their present $39,000 to $49,000 and lower GS-17 and GS-16 employees from $39,629 to $47,970. If Ford's recommendations are a bit below the commission recommendations, as they are for the other positions revealed yesterday, the surpergrades probably would receive $1,000 to $2,000 less than the pay commission figures.
Sources emphasized that the President's recommendations are tied to a pledge by congressional leaders to seek a strong code of ethics for Congress and federal employees and judges, as recommended by the pay commission. They said such a pledge was given be the leaders yesterday.
In Americus, Ga., a spokesman for President-elect Jimmy Carter said Ford consulted Carter on the pay raise proposal and that Carter approved it as long as it was linked to an ethics code. "In this [Carter's] mind, the salary increases are irrevocably tied to the ethical code," the spokesman said.