Whenever Congress votes itself a raise, it's always a political hot potato. It does seem strange that they can vote themselves their own raises. Imagine at wherever you work if the employees could all get together and vote, "Say aye if you think everyone here deserves a 10 percent raise." I think it would be tough for such a place to stay in business. On the other hand, I won't say that Congress should never get a raise. All professions should have raises available. So here's my proposal.
Congress will be stripped of its ability to vote itself a pay raise. In its place, we would have a 12-person jury of ordinary citizens pledged to be impartial. Congress will select an advocate, it could be a member of Congress or it could be an attorney, to make the case for the raise and for how much. When Congress is done making its case, a rebuttal case will be put on by a qualified attorney. This attorney will argue that Congress does not deserve a raise and will cite the reasons why. Both the pro and the con advocates will be given rebuttal time to cross examine and put holes in the other person's case.
When all cases and rebuttals are done, the jury will deliberate. The jury is free to accept the full raise asked for or to reject it outright or to accept a lesser amount. It's acceptable for the jury to decide, "They asked for 10 percent; we're giving them 3 percent." In order for a raise to go into law, 9 of 12 jurors have to vote for it.
This system would get rid of a political hot potato issue and would empower ordinary citizens while offering Congress the possibility to get raises. What do you think? Vote on whether you think this plan would be better than how we currently do it.