A new Gallup poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans like the idea of members of Congress returning some of their salaries. When asked whether Congress should return the money as a result of sequestration, 78% of those polled agreed with a 5% payback, while 79% favored a return of 25%.
The question arose because Barack Obama recently volunteered to give back 5% of his presidential salary; various elected officials and members of Obama’s cabinet have agreed to do something similar or offer money to charity.
A change in salary for members of Congress would have to wait until the next election cycle, according to the 27th Amendment, but an official can voluntarily offer part of his salary to the U.S. Treasury.
Gallup surmises the attitude of Americans toward a Congressional payback is due to the lack of approval the public feels for the members; public approval of Congress sank to 13% in March. There was no appreciable divide between Democrats and Republicans surveyed on the proposed payback.