A lawsuit by Sen. Gordon J. Humphrey (R-N.H.) and five House members challenging this year's pay raise for the legislative and executive branches was dismissed yesterday by a federal judge, who ruled that Congress did not act in time to overturn the pay hike.
U.S. District Court Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer ruled that the House failed to disapprove the pay raise within the 30 days required by law.
The House voted Feb. 4, one day past the 30-day deadline, to join the Senate in disapproving the recommended raises, which increased congressional pay from $77,400 to $89,500.
"Unless and until the president makes another effective recommendation or the Congress enacts, and the president signs, some other legislation determining salaries, those put in place by the president's Jan. 5, 1987, recommendations are valid and effective," Oberdorfer ruled.
Humphrey was joined by Republican Reps. Robert C. Smith (N.H.), Robert K. Dornan (Calif.), Beau Boulter (Tex.), Jack Davis (Ill.) and Clyde Holloway (La.); Ralph Nader and the National Taxpayers Union in challenging the pay bill, arguing that the 30-day period should not have begun until Jan. 6.
They said the later date should have set the standard because the president must transmit the pay recommendations to the House speaker and that Rep. Jim Wright (D-Tex.) was not elected speaker until Jan. 6, a day after the president sent his pay-raise package to Capitol Hill.