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FOLEY SAYS JUDGES SHOULD GET PAY RAISES

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House Speaker Tom Foley said federal judges and senior executive branch employees should get pay raises.

Foley said that before any action is taken on the pay boosts for judges and executive branch employees he would wait for a report that's expected to recommend a pay increase for Congress.The report, likely to be completed this summer, is expected to suggest a ban on speaking fees and other honoraria in exchange for the pay raise.

"It may well be that they'll recommend that we phase out honorariums over a period of years with perhaps an increase over a period of years starting in the next Congress for members of Congress," Foley said Monday during a political fund-raiser in New York.

"But in any event, whatever happens, I want to see this Congress propose and send to the president an increase for judges and for senior civil servants in the executive branch."

Foley's comments are the first indication that Congress is willing to reopen the politically volatile issue.

The House in February, faced with a public outcry, killed a 51 percent pay increase for judges, senior executives and legislators in what was seen as a major defeat for then-Speaker Jim Wright.

Since the vote, Congress has been pressured to increase the salary of senior executive branch employees and federal judges, whose salaries traditionally are tied to those of Congress.

With the renewed interest in ethics in Washington, Congress has been considering a ban on speaking fees and other outside sources of income.

Judicial and executive branch employees already are forbidden from accepting most speaking fees and other outside income.