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January 16th, 2013
10:57 AM ET

Rep. Forbes: Congressional Accountability Pay Act 'has legs,' says business in Washington needs a fundamental change


By: CNN's Jim Acosta and Ashley Killough

(CNN) - There's one thing many Democratic and Republican members of Congress have in common: They're rich.

The 113th Congress, which convened the first week of January, has slightly more wealth than members of Congress the previous year, according to new research from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The median estimated net worth of all members of the current Congress was $966,000 in 2011, the latest year of financial disclosure data available, compared to a median net worth for members of the 112th Congress of $886,000 in 2010.

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Soledad asks Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) about the Congressional Accountability Pay Act, which if passed would lower Congress's salaries if government spending increases.

"We've got to fundamentally change how we do business in Washington, how we think and how we act," Rep. Forbes says. "The fundamental problem we have is this out-of-control spending. So, what we have to do is either the President has to take control of it and so far his budgets haven't done, or either we have to have a balanced budget amendment which is very difficult because we need two-thirds votes and the states have to ratify, and we just don't have time, time will run out on us."

"Or we look at legislators and say, you need to have some skin in the game. If you can't control spending and it goes up by 10 percent your salary goes down by 10 percent," Rep. Forbes adds.

Soledad asks Rep. Forbes about a "Forbes" magazine piece, that claims the Congressman's net worth was just under $3 million in 2010. She asks if the dock in pay would really put a dent in any one representative's wealth. Rep. Forbes responded, saying the "Forbes" estimation of his weath was inaccurate.

READ MORE: Members of Congress are getting wealthier

Filed under: Budget • Spending
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