By law, members of Congress and their staffers are entitled to a yearly cost-of-living increase.
But in the wake of the financial meltdown caused by the housing crisis, House and Senate members have turned down the pay raise for 10 years.
There was talk of allowing the automatic raise to take effect again, increasing lawmaker pay from $174,000 to $178,500. Staff members would get an increase as well. Currently, the average congressional staff pay is $54,640.
Well, as could be expected, the idea set off a political firestorm. Many don't see why lawmakers deserve any pay raise. Others wonder why $174,000 isn't enough when so many Americans live on far less.
The pressure was so strong that this week House Democrats caved on the salary increase, delaying consideration until later.
We want to know what you think. Should Congress and its staff get a cost-of-living raise after 10 years? Or do you believe they shouldn't get the raise?
Send your response (50 words maximum) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, June 20. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, at P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504 or drop it off at our office, 101 E. Broad St., Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.
Last Week: City vs. Chick-fil-A
Last week's question was about the city of San Antonio blocking Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant at the city's airport. Does a city have the right to ban a private company from city property because it does not agree with its stance on issues effecting citizens? Or is the city wrong to do so?
A city does not have a right to ban a private Christian business from city property. This is ultra discrimination against Christians. If the LGBTQ people have their way, all will be beholden to them for anything and everything we do. Do they, in this hateful discrimination against Chick-fil-A, also want to exempt them from city taxes in San Antonio? This will not stop there. It will go to every city. People, stand against. Remember, Sodom and Gomorrah and the results of their sin! We reap what we sow; sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. They are wanting their flag to fly over our American embassies.—J.L.T., Texarkana, Texas
Chick-fil-A should be ashamed of calling themselves Christians. In order to be a true Christian you have to love everyone, not just the few you agree with. People should remember Chick-fil-A is business making money on people's faith which is sacrilegious. Chick-fil-A is a hypocrite business and I would never buy anything from them. San Antonio stood by values and didn't allow this company to build a restaurant at airport, where multifaceted people come through. Although, at present time we are living in an intolerable state due to politics, we need to be tolerant and love everyone as Jesus wanted us to do or you will go to Hell.—R.K., Texarkana, Texas
God is the final authority, declaring what is good or evil. He is also the final judge of those in positions of authority, who prefer to disregard His word, to support those who practice sodomy. Increasingly persecuting those who oppose their lifestyle, because they believe God, who refers to it as an "abomination."—D.H.M., Texarkana, Ark.
City property is public property. Everyone pays taxes to support it. There is no place for bigotry, inequality, discrimination of any kind on such property. Chick-fil-A is well known for donating money to groups known for discrimination against certain groups and for performing harmful, abusive, and controversial therapy on those people. There is no place for that on public property.—M.T., Texarkana, Texas
- Heaven forbid we give our honest opinion. Those on the far far left lose their minds.I support Chick-fil-A!
- City is wrong. They are just choosing their discrimination.
- I think the city is in the right. Keep the rift raft out of their town.
- Well, San Antonio is discriminating against religious freedom. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
- City has right to block anti-person group from being open on city property.
- Religion has been around for ever and now San Antonio wants to discriminate against religion! San Antonio is wrong!
- I'll say it louder for the crowd. Opening a chicken business does not qualify as practicing religion, under the law. The city could deny a strip club at it's airport. You wouldn't have a problem with that.
- The city would be forcing their agenda onto others.
- If you allow a business that donates to Pro-Gay and not allow a business that donates to Anti-Gay then you are discriminating against one and encouraging the other. Don't scream discrimination if you are discriminating!
- The city is wrong. You can't ban a business because you disagree with their religious preferences. It's a slippery slope
- They are wrong! The government ( city, county, state and federal) are giving themselves way too much power nowadays.
- The city is wrong, how is that not reverse discrimination?
- I applaud the city of San Antonio!
- The city is wrong. There is supposed to be separation between church and state. The state is sticking it's nose into a church stance.
- A city has a right to allow or not allow a company into its community. Walmart prime example, some cities say yes others say no, due to the negative aspects it brings to the community. If a town says no to Chick-fil-A or bans them fortunate or unfortunately can be resolved by making a petition. Not everyone follows Christianity. There are way more religious beliefs out there. Those that do follow Christianity still don't follow the same beliefs and guidelines others might. That is why I say keep it secular.
- If you don't like, don't shop there, but don't deny those that do! Your beliefs do not dictate mine.
- Just because they give to organizations that are deemed anti-gay or Christian doesn't mean they are anti-gay. I would bet they hire people of all sexual orientation and I believe the company even put out information that they do not discriminate.
- Wrong! This is a separation of church and state issue at its core.
- Ridiculous. But it shows you what idiots live in San Antonio.
- The city is interfering with a private company's right to operate a business in a public place. Nobody will force anybody to patronize the business.
- If they would stick to cooking mediocre chicken and not promoting mythology, it'd be nice.
- I agree and love to stand with Chick-fil-A.
- The city is very wrong!
- I don't think the city has the right.
- When hate and bigotry are "Christian" values, maybe its time to rethink your religion. The city has the right to refuse a discriminatory business from a public area.
- What they are banning it for is no different! They are discriminating against Christianity by doing this!
- Ban the Texas business or the Arkansas businesses that are banning against Chick-fil-A. Do not shop in the state it is.
- The city is obviously discriminating against Christian values. If you don't fall in line with the cities values, not laws or ordinances, then you're out. Disgraceful and narrow minded.
- I haven't seen that they have refused service to anyone just supported some organizations of their choice, as is their right right? What's the big deal? Nobody stopping the gays from getting some chicken We are no longer a country of morals our enemies have been laughing ever since. Liberalism has almost destroyed moral value.
- It's discriminatory either way you choose to look at it. However, being a Christian business it should show tolerance of other beliefs and views. I personally am all for "do what makes you happy as long as you aren't physically causing harm to anyone else."
- It's against The Constitution to force anyone to eat there, but they, Chick-fil-A, has every right anyone else does. That's why it isn't called Federal Chicken. They are actually a good company to work for, and you get Sunday off.
- No, the city does not have a right! I thought this was America! Guess not anymore!
- Being anti-gay is pretty retarded but their chicken is also good.
- We need more businesses like them. The city has no right doing what they are doing
- We need more places like this and with their values! I stand with Chick-fil-A all the way
- So it's OK for people to support the LGBTQ community, but not OK for people that want to support Christian values? I don't understand. Rights work both ways.
- The city obviously has the right, so why even ask?
- Do we ban a company for making frosting that can be used to make a cake with racist remarks?? Come on just don't shop there if it's gonna hurt your feelings.
- I support any business that supports Christian values. It's your choice if you don't or do walk through their doors.
- Do "not tolerate discrimination based on any factor"—'nuff said.
- They have a right to run their company the way they see fit. If they are wrong, why are they the third largest in the country?
- They have no right at all! Should work both ways and support Christian beliefs as well
- First Amendment says the government (even a city) can NOT make any law that promotes or discriminates against any religion. What San Antonio did is unconstitutional and would be proven as such (with a large judgment) in court. Sadder part is liberals wanting to punish people whose views they don't agree with. Can you imagine if conservatives all the sudden began to ban businesses that supported abortion or gay rights?
- I don't see it's my place to judge anyone for how they see fit to live. But for ME, and my house we will serve the LORD. And Christians have rights too.
- I do not believe Chick-fil-A has ever refused business to any person based on their sexual orientation. So this ban doesn't make much sense in the overall scope of their reasoning behind it. Did they ban Starbucks from the airport who claims they will not serve anyone who is against same sex marriage .. come on, is that really a question that is asked at the counter? "Okay white chocolate mocha, no whip? Do you support same sex marriage, no? Sorry, order cancelled. NO, absolutely no! No more than a Chick-fil-A employee asking I'm sorry are you gay? Order cancelled. This is ridiculous the city is wrong.
- No! Privately owned company is the operative words here no one else's business. If you don't like what they stand for go somewhere else. I don't like half naked women serving me wings but I'm not trying to shut down Hooters because they offend me. People need to mind their own!
- Well, as a bisexual male, in a polyamorous relationship, I've never felt bothered by Chick-fil-A's opinion of me. I could care less if they like, hate, or donate to LGBT in any form. The one in Texarkana might not know, maybe their sensor is busted or something, but I've never once had a single issue with discrimination going through their drive-thru. In case the humor went overhead/Want it short and sweet: They make food, I like the food, I don't care what they think, I buy the food, I eat the food, and life goes on.
- The happiest you will ever become in life is when you only care about what the close people in your life think, and let everyone else live.
- If you don't like it, take your business elsewhere.
- I am pro-LGBT, but I think this kind of dumb. We live in a free country. If you disagree with their "values," eat somewhere else. It's pretty obvious they have people working there who are gay, so I don't know how much they adhere to their own policies.
- The city has a right to do whatever it wants. PERIOD.
- People have forgotten what America use to stand for—FREEDOM! And Chick-fil-A has never refused business to someone for being gay. The owner gave some of his personal money to stand for what he believes. That is his right whether people like it or not. We should all encourage that freedom.
- Is this real life right now? Stupidest crap I've ever read.
- Furthermore this is the Lord's Chicken we are talking about. You may now bow your head.
- City needs new board of directors!
- City is wrong to discriminate. If people don't like their stance, then don't buy from them.
- Chick-fil-A and any other American business should be able to have the right to refuse service to anyone at anytime. However, Chick-fil-A does not refuse service to anyone. It just has Christian values and operates under Christian principles. Cities, state and federal should NOT interfere with private enterprise.
- People get a life the city just wants to control everything and everyone
- This isn't North Korea. We don't all have to agree. Let people who want to eat the chicken have the chicken. Let their money go where they want it to go. If someone wants to eat at another place that has different values, they have the freedom to do so, too. Be happy and kind to one another. Life is short.
- That's discrimination what the city is trying to do to them. Shame on them. If someone doesn't like their values and they way they run their business, they don't have to ever go there. The city is wrong. You can't please everyone. Move on.
- Yet so many have no problem discriminating against Christians and Christian values. Just more of the hypocritical attitude in this country.
- The city absolutely has the right to ban based on discriminatory practices. They should put in a Zaxbys. It's better and it's open on Sunday!
- They do not discriminate who buys from them nor refuse service, so why bash them for their stance on how they run the business internally only. Who they hire or what days they are closed is their business.
- Christian value? Where's the love. When you support those that would enslave, then you are sinning
- City is wrong. I love Chic-fil-A! I'm glad you can walk in there and hear praise and worship music playing. And i think its awesome that they observe the Sabbath day!
- It's so ironic that all of you talk about Christian values. Can someone please explain to me what this value is considering that the Bible you all claim to read is incomplete. So who's to say that in one of the many books that was removed doesn't honor homosexuality?
- This ban is about what CFA is for, not what they are against. I have known the Cathy family for over 20 years. Bubba Cathy (Truett's son) taught the newlyweds Sunday School class and they renovated a facility at Berry College to support healthier marriages. They support marriage. And that support is offensive to some. Seems to me that a city decimated by single-parent homes and out if wedlock births would be pleading for people like the Cathy family.
- As a lesbian, l was just at the local store yesterday to feed my family. Everyone has the right to feel however they feel, same as l. I am able to accept their beliefs and still enjoy the food.
- If Chick-fil-A discriminated against an individual, l could see the need for change. But l have not heard of any.
- The city is discriminating against the chain. Businesses have a right to do with their money as they please, just like some donate to planned parenthood. Knowing what organizations they support, it's up to the consumer to decide if they want to spend their money with them.
- City is wrong in overstepping purpose of government. If someone does not like a business supporting certain positions or organizations don't buy from the business.
- They are a Christian based company and have not wavered since the beginning of the company with their beliefs and ideas.
- So you can't discriminate against LGBTQ but you can against Christians? THAT MAKES SENSE.
- Its called Inter Guilt! They have Harassed CFA for their Christian beliefs for years. Now there's your discrimination! I for one could care less about another's sexual preference.
- As long as Chick-fil-A is in business I won't go there. But I'll question anyone that does.
- Their belief's are not my concern. My only concern is that they never change the chicken recipe and never run out of Polynesian sauce!
- It is a lie to say that Chick-fil-A has anti LGBTQ behaviors. They don't discriminate against anyone. You can have a personal view about something without discriminating. Anyone who believes the lies about this restaurant either haven't been there or they haven't done their homework. Do I have to stop going to church just so these people "think" I don't discriminate? Crybabies.
- I support Chic-fil-A! I bet this would have increased revenue for San Antonio if they had of approved it. If I was them, I would be glad. San Antonio did you a favor. There are other places that love you and appreciate a stand-your-ground establishment.
- Amendment 1 of the US Constitution clearly states"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If the city blocks them the city is in violation of the 1st Amendment, in my opinion.
- The biggest reason SA accepted a different company's application was the other applicant will be open 7 days a week. Chick-fil-A has every right to set its operating hours, but being closed Sunday is not desirable for an airport vendor.
- I disagree with Chick-fil-A. I never eat there because of their political views.
- I believe the city made the right choice!