Rep. Urges Congress to Lead by Example, Sponsors Bill to Cut Lawmaker Salaries

As Congress eyes major spending cuts to trim the national deficit, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., says House members should be setting an example by taking a five percent decrease in pay, and she's sponsoring legislation to make it happen.

"Yesterday, we voted to cut our office budgets by five percent, the committee budgets by five percent and leadership budgets by five percent," she said in an interview on FOX News Friday. "If we're going to lead by example, I think members of Congress should cut our own salaries by five percent."

The last time congressional members decreased their pay was in 1933 during the Great Depression and the current salary for House members is $174,000 per year. But Giffords believes there's no reason why members on both sides of the aisle can't find common ground on the issue.

"It's been 77 years since members of congress have reduced their salary. And with millions of people out of work right now, I think it's the appropriate thing to do," she said.

Giffords cosponsored a similar bill last year that never made it through the House. But with Republicans now in control of the House, and a theme of fiscal conservatism permeating Capitol Hill, the movement may have more traction this time around.