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Yes they can give themselves a pay raise, but not instantly. It would take at least a few months to balance the books out.
finnth is right i saw in my text book
Wish I could give myself a pay raise. When would you say no?
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Hahaha yes, but why the need when they can line their pockets with 'contribution' money. Uhm... I'll shut up.
Oh dear, while the answer the masses have selected is correct, the reasoning is flawed. There is no matter of "balancing books." Rather, Congress's ability to change its pay is regulated by the twenty seventh amendment to the Constitution. The amendment states that "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened." That means that the increase or decrease wouldn't take effect until the start of congressional term. Answering your question, no - it cannot take effect immediately.