January 12 – When we say elected officials work for us, we’re not kidding. The money that they are paid comes directly from the people in the United States.
And now, they’re getting even more.
Recent reports came out from an email that US Representatives can now claim per diem reimbursements for lodging, meals and incidentals while they’re in Washington, DC, doing their work.
Part of the argument is that their base pay hasn’t been adjusted for many years.
Keep in mind – at minimum – our federal representatives make $174,000 a year. Leadership members could make even more.
There will be a cap on the per diem claims, but the details haven’t been announced.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “There’s equal opportunity blame here on the Democrats and the Republicans. It looks like this issue started to be quietly discussed in late December between the lame duck Congress and the incoming Congress. They greenlighted this in late December, left it to the new Congress leadership to ratify whether it would happen. Presumably within the past week, McCarthy said yes, let’s do this.”
So the question is how much more money could this mean for rank and file Congressmen?
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “I want to roll this back. You get paid enough and if you look at any of the folks as they leave office, that’s where the bank is going.”
This likely happened in leadership only. It wasn’t actually a vote on the House floor.
Ryan said, “I want John Joyce to stand up in front of all of them. I want my representative, or Scott Perry or that coward David Trone to stand up and say this was wrong. This doesn’t need to be here. We make plenty of money. We have plenty of staff all over the place.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “They just got a ton more money added to pay for things in their offices.”
“These kings and queens,” Ryan lamented. “It’s a hostage crisis that’s going on here and I’m going to start banging that drum like crazy. We’re being held hostage by a bunch of lawmakers making a fabulous nest for themselves and screwing you right to the end here.”
Remember the per diems are tax free. They are not taxable reimbursements.
Barkdoll pointed out, “Depending on the cap that’s placed on this reimbursement, this could equate to a fairly significant amount of money if a Congressman would opt in to collecting or claiming these per diem reimbursements year to year.”
Ryan continued, “And I don’t want to hear ‘I’m not taking it, Pat.’ I want to hear John Joyce getting on the microphone going you know what we did here? What leadership did in the dark of the end of the year? We put the fist in the people’s face. That’s what we did with this. It may be small chump change to you, but the same things happen in Pennsylvania.”
Lawmakers in PA get $150 a day for incidentals and that really adds up.
Barkdoll said, “Sometimes tens of thousands of dollars when you look at those annual reports for the legislators that opt in to that program. I would think at Washington, DC, prices the daily amount will be even much more than they would get in Harrisburg. So if someone wanted to maximize that program, I would not be surprised if it would amount to $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 a year in reimbursements.”
“Ugh,” Ryan sighed. “You’re not watching what’s happening in Ukraine with the money. You’re not watching what’s happening with the money from ARPA. We’re handing out bonuses in Maryland. We’re handing out bonuses in Pennsylvania. They’re taking your kid’s treasure. They’re taking your children and your grandkid’s treasure and they’re spending it like a bunch of freaking drunks.”
Jansen noted, “We just found out they’re giving money to state workers and their dependents for education.”
State workers and their spouse and children are getting $2,000 each for education.
Ryan asked, “I’ve got to pay for a state worker’s kid to get an education?”
Jansen added, “They’re also benefiting the state institutions that are not doing very well in terms of recruiting students, but this is one way for them to force students in there and force more money in there.”
Ryan said, “You’re being held hostage by these lawmakers and then they run around, cover things up and hope you’re not paying attention.”