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txradioguy
03-07-2011, 01:58 PM
Departing members of the House of Representatives awarded millions of dollars in extra pay to aides as they closed down their offices, according to lawmakers' spending records.

The 96 lawmakers paid their employees $6.7 million, or 31%, more in the fourth quarter of 2010 than they did, on average, in the first three quarters of the year.

That's about twice as much as the 16% increase awarded by lawmakers who returned to the 112th Congress, according to LegiStorm, an organization that tracks congressional salaries.

The disparity suggests retiring or defeated members used remaining funds in their official expenses budgets to boost salaries for staffers before they left Washington, cash that might otherwise have been returned to the U.S. Treasury.

Lawmakers interviewed for this article say aides work hard for smaller salaries than they could earn elsewhere, and that modest bonuses are one way of offering a reward. Some said they wanted to help employees as they look for new jobs.

Because most of the departing members were Democrats, fourth-quarter salary increases in 2010 for Democratic staffers were the largest in the decade LegiStorm has been gathering such data.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703362804576184903976465110.html?m od=WSJ_hps_sections_news

Novaheart
03-07-2011, 02:07 PM
Seems rather wasteful. The staffers should be career employees of the seat, so the member would come and go but the office staff would remain the same for continuity and to keep from having to re-invent the wheel every two years or so.