By LAURA ERNDE
Two Tri-State area senators played a key role in giving pay raises to themselves and other members of Congress recently.
Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Robert C. Byrd, both Democrats, were two of three senators who voted for the $3,073 cost-of-living raises in conference committee on Sept. 29, according to Roll Call Report Syndicate.
Although the vote ended in a 3-3 tie, it was crucial because it avoided a vote before the entire senate.
The House of Representatives had already passed the pay hike as part of a bill that gave raises to all federal employees.
Later, a vote to block the pay raise for Congress only fell short despite the support of local Reps. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., and Bob Wise, D-W.Va.