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March 8th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Capitol Hill (CNN) – A CNN analysis of thousands of pages of Congressional expense reports shows that in the months leading up to the fiscal cliff (and potential, sharp budget cuts), nearly a quarter of the lawmakers in the House of Representatives gave their own office staff bonuses.

Click here to see the list of how much each member of Congress spent and which lawmakers gave their staff what appear to be bonuses.

That money is itemized as “Other Compensation” in the more than 2000-page report.

Only a handful of members of Congress gave us statements defending the bonuses last quarter.

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA, wrote, “have a hard working, dedicated team… and I want to pay a salary that reflects their service.”

He said he only gives bonuses if there is “money left over” at the end of the year.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL, responded, "We have not had raises or bonuses in several years. The small compensation reflects an increased workload each person had to take on after our staff was downsized because of budgetary cuts."

Similarly, Rep. Dennis Ross, R-FL insisted that the bonuses allowed him to save money. “I believe performance-based pay is an important incentive in the workplace… Also, in the past year we’ve reduced our staff… The bonuses are to reward those remaining for taking on additional duties,” he said.

We went outside Congress to sort out whether the bonuses could be appropriate or not, whether it is something a business might do.

[2:33] “I’m not a big fan of anyone getting bonuses, when things aren’t going well…if we can’t balance a budget, we can’t even pass a budget, I don’t believe in people getting bonuses until things are right,” says Buck Hartzell, head of Investor Learning at Motley Fool.

At the Motley Fool, an investing and media company in Alexandria, Virginia, bonuses are part of the culture. Each employee can get several different bonuses depending on how they, their work group and the entire staff perform.

But Hartzell points out, that is only in successful times. At one point during the recession, there were no bonuses.

Listen to our story to hear how one small business owner looks at the Congressional bonuses and how she would handle a tight budget year.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

soundoff (1,040 Responses)
  1. krehator

    This story is buried at Fox. I wonder why? Hmmmmm.

    March 16, 2013 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. austin

    We should get that money, as taxpayers, the only person who deserves a bonus is us.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. allen

    What about our military children’s education? I don't think they care about the education of our children. This going to hurt DoDea to local school districts state side. PLEASE put the children 1st............. We have a lot unresolved issue with our military children that is not being address DO NOT hurt the children by taking way funds for education......

    March 11, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Odo

    NICE the SAME MORONs who want to freeze pay again for Federal workers give their staffs bonuses???? I thought we were "broke"?? HYPOCRITES!!!!!

    March 11, 2013 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. demourl

    this is a nice post demourl http://www.demourl.com/

    March 11, 2013 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. Christina

    When will someone look at how the military is being hit in regards to the money issues. They want to change the retirement plans for soldiers, they are closing our commissaries (grocery stores) an extra day each week (it will be closed 2 days a week instead of one), they have STOPPED Tuition Assistance for college as of 8 March.....Yes, the Gov't sent these soldiers to war for the last 10 years, and now our country is in debt, but why are the soldiers and their families paying for it.....weren't their lives and tearing apart of their families not enough? They are the last ones the Gov't should withhold money from.

    March 11, 2013 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I was medically retired from the Marine Corps! The commissaries sucked, you get better deals outside most if not all the base's so close them for a day. Then the TA issue, so what last I checked for the first year of service you paid into the GI bill for school. I have seen military spouses complain that they are taking this and that from the families when it comes out they dont even work. (Not saying you) A military serviceman/women sign's up to protect this country and when one does get married must understand some of the sacrifices that will be endured during there tour of duty. I just get so sick and tired of people complaining about taking from military families. What about mine, within the next 30 days me and my spouse will be furloughed we will both lose 20% of each of our pay, which will use to pay stuff like mortgage, electric, etc. I dont have the privledge of living on base in which I dont have to worry if my house will be paid for that month. Get with the program, military familes have it a little better right now then all of these federal employees who will be affected.

      Some stuff must be cut from the budget!

      March 11, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. larkwoodgirl

    The hypocrisy of politicians is simply astounding.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Runningusa

    I AM AMAZED AT WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL ALLOW THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS TO GET AWAY WITH!!!!!!!!!!!
    Who's the fool? Congressmen or the American people?

    March 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Pasted from below

      This is a stupid article to get people all angry at the government, and nothing more. I doubt half the people that replied in outrage even bothered to look at the data. The article clearly states its baseing the whole thing off the line items of "other compensation" but that does NOT mean its all bonuses. READ THE DATA! Gary Ackerman D-NY only used 95.2% of his 2012 budget. Of that 95.2%, not in addition too, he has $147,633 listed as "other compensation" which is the highest listed.

      But again that does not mean its all bonus money. Do you really think he gave his case worker who is listed at $10,666 (a quarter, read caveat below) and give her $7,333 in "other compensation" (again read caveat) its probably because that person worked extra hours, over time, more than was budgeted/scheduled for because of staff reductions or what ever reason. And this is for the whole year which gives even more evidence to suggest it was for time worked. Further evidence this article is just to make people mad look at pg 627. Mario Diaz-Balart R-Fl he defended his $2,400 in bonuses which is very modest when divided by the 17 people listed on his staff. But the article would have us believe everything listed "other compensation" is bonus. Which sure as hell doesn't add up to all the "other compensations" listed for the Reps staffers especially if listed quarterly as the header says (again read caveat below)

      The point I am trying to make its stop getting so worked up so damn fast, without getting informed first! The media IS sensationalizing everything to get you worked up! Please read the data when they give it to you in the article.

      (Caveat: stupid government documents need directions it lists the compensations as per quarter, but its doesnt calculate out as per quarter when compared to the year total. I divided the total by the quarterly amount and got a 2.69 multiplier for Mr Ackerman's data (each Rep had a differet multiplier, see what I mean about directions). If you use this with the caseworker broad I used in my example multiplying her listed quarterly and "other compensation" and adding together its $48,416 for the year which is a decent salary not obscene or govt fat cats, especially if some of that is actual over time. Please look at the data for yourselves, individual representatives start on pg 143.

      Media sensationalizm nothing worth getting your panties in a bind over.
      (I do have to apologize to Ms. Heather for singling her out and clling her a broad, sorry I guess im just sexist.)

      March 11, 2013 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Heck

      Take the sleep out of your eyes. We the people have nothing to say about running this country. The politicians make all the rules and its their stacked deck.

      March 11, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. allens

    this is how out of touch these politicians are. we need a list of ALL congressman that gave bonuses and vote them out. just like that, gone. we do not need people like this running our country

    March 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Boehner

      These are well deserved bonuses and the list of recipients is there for your perusal.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marshall Thomas

        Then take it out of your pay since your doing a piss poor job.

        March 14, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. InDisbelief

    I have had to do the work of 2 people for about 5 years now. NO raises, NO bonuses, NOT EVEN AN THANK!

    So their staff has had a bigger workload? BFD.....suck it up like they tell ME to do!

    March 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe H

      AMEN to that! Bonus for what? Doing your job? Get real people. They already make a ton of money and those bonuses need to be taken back. That is a LOAD of BS. What has this country come to?! Getting to be really sad. SMH!

      March 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. InDisbelief

    I work for the govt and I NEVER get a holiday bonus! NEVER!

    No raises in the past 2+ years, no bonuses, just MORE WORK & a SLAP IN THE FACE when congress gets raises & gives out bonuses to themselves & their staff!

    March 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pjbess57

    According to figures provided by cnn.com the House of Representatives had an budget of $ 600,035,346.00 (that's million) and spent $ 361,752,434.40. This is about 60% which is pretty good. I would like to know what happens to the $ 238,282,911.60 that was left over. Some Reps gave bonuses to their staff with the monies that was left over – to the sum of $ 2,449,014.06. In general, those that confirmed the bonuses were given stated that it was due to devoted staff that took on additional job duties when staffs were downsized. So how many of you have had the same downsizing and same increase in job duties without compensation? Nothing against the staffers, but they should be no different than the rest of us.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GAR

    People, people, people. This started out as a commentary on Congressional Staff bonuses. Well you get what you deserve. If you insist on being parochial and continue to vote in the same Congressmen and Senators because they "bring home the bacon," you are fooling yourselves and being cheated at the same time. If Congress won't institute term limits on themselves, then we should impose our own. Do not allow ANY Senator more than three terms. Do not allow ANY Congressman more than four terms. Come on people, let's get this done.

    March 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Term limits should be unconstitutional. American citizens should be permitted to vote for whomever they want in office. Voting IS a term limit but people just are too stupid to realize it. I shouldn't have my voting rights limited because of other stupid people.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • sittingdog

      Agree wholeheartedly. Congress can only look out for their own interests unless and until there are term limits (no more than three). Until then, this will continue to happen and they will continue to only vote in their own self-interests. Term limits are the answer, let's make it happen!!!

      March 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heck

      Gar,I agree with term limits. Why should the most important job in the USA . (The President of the U S A ) have a two term limit and the rest unlimited. Da, boy are we dumb. I guess it's our fault. We allowed the fox to guard the chicken Koop.

      March 11, 2013 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Robert

    We need performance based pay NOW!

    March 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonus Grumby

      The unions would never allow that to happen.

      March 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Karen P

    First this is not a real report....report the abuses...who, how much, etc. I work extra hours to make ends me, cry me a river they worked hard. So does everyone else in this country and we do it for less.

    March 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Antny

    It's official: "I am the Walrus."

    March 10, 2013 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  17. Janice

    At a time when so many senior citizens are having to decide between food and madication, large numbers of children are going to bed hungry and multitudes of families have lost their homes I find this unacceptable. Yes, the "furlough"s have cut into their budgets but that's tough. How many employees does it take to shovel the crap we've all heard from BOTH parties? This is yet another insult to the American people. I say cut their budgets by 50% or even 25%, and cut their benefits as well. Austerity should begin with our so called leaders.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  18. R.A.

    We are all foolish to allow our Congressman to do anything so disrespectful to our country during a financial crisis. What were these fools thinking? This is a complete and total disrespect for the people whom they represent. To do this at this time. We keep electing the same people year after year. It is our own fault for not waking up. I for one will will vote and donate against the incumbent in my district. We need change now! I don't care anymore who is the majority. I just want a change.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • carolyn walker

      We can't get anyone to run agains't them! hOW CAN WE BOOT THEM OUT WHEN THERE IS NO ONE TO RUN FOR THE JOB?

      March 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  19. blackhawkmom

    Giving bonuses when those of us in the private sector are getting hit hard with layoffs, no pay increases, vanishing benefits? Congress has no idea what it is like in the real world. MANY of us in the private sector work very hard, are dedicated employees, have taken on a LOT of extra work due to layoffs and open positions not being filled. I am absolutely SICK of our representatives living in a da_n bubble and totally clueless what the private sector employees are going thru.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • so what

      everybody knows that elected officials keep their staff happy – because if they lose, so do their staff

      March 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Solomon Walker

    Motley Fool's insult to the intelligence of the American people isn't appreciated. The United States is not a corporate entity under the law. Taxpayers fund the salaries of the elected whether they work or not, unfortunately, but we can elect not to pay with money if we so choose. "Compensation" is not required by law to be monetary, you see. I'm uncertain how many people realize this.

    So – I say, let the next pay be in the form of pennies.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  21. nosay

    Obama was thought to be the savior. What do we all think today. He has great speech skills and sounds great but if we were to listen to his actions, what would it sound like?. Sorry people we will take from you to give to us. You take a cut while we take a raise. But in the end it is our fault. He targeted the uneducated and poor. We gave him a second change based on him... We had no idea he was going to steal from our weekly wages to pay back his credit problem. We the people of the United States did not spend that money. But I say to you people, " you will pay back what we have messed up and on top of that we will take a bonus because you people have no choice momohahhaaa."

    March 10, 2013 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Lagos

      Most liberals are content to take his advances in gay rights and blame every economic problem in the universe on Republicans.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  22. Rozznitz

    Left over money should be given to charities. I do not care how little money is given, its obscene. Nobody forces you to choose politics and no one should be rewarded for it. NOBODY. Stop making politics pay – its supposed to be the job of taking care of this country FOR EVERYONE.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • okiejoe

      Left over money should go back to the general fund or be applied to the debt.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
      • blackhawkmom

        EXACTLY.

        March 10, 2013 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Marshall Thomas

      No, leftover money should go back to the taxpayers.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  23. ForestRev

    Take a stand against all of these people in Washington, start making phone calls, letters, or however you can send your message and let them know that the 'real world, here in the public' is against their actions on this...... I for one, at this point will NOT re-elect anyone in Washington, their actions are not a part of my thinking !! – I feel that all Americans are of equal value, and just because you sit in those seats in Washington does not make you 'a god', maybe they should take their own car and pay for their own gas, and travel this country and stop at all of the smaller towns and visit a while.... BOY would their eyes be opened !! – So just to let everyone know, I am SO against tactics such as this........ How horrible to treat the American public !!!!

    March 10, 2013 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Solomon Walker

      Actually, very few phone calls get through. Most of the time, customer service reps hang up. Emails are generally ignored by most government agencies and the Contact web pages are merely a token gesture. I've recorded enough phone calls for legal purposes to show that Americans really have very little actual access to their state representatives. Better to show up in person as a group and demand an appointment without threat of violence. Positive public pressure usually will produce a higher level quality of sound resolution if demonstrated in the form of physical presence. That is why American laws encourage it. Demonstration without violence is the nucleus of our law. The Founding Fathers speak directly to this as the best method of keeping the peoples' checks and balances secure.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  24. peaceofmind500

    Did the bonus's come from the reps pay or our tax dollars? Our tax dollars! One comment said–They work long hours and even have to be there when the rep isn't?? How many unemployed people do you think feel sorry for them? It may take time but do the world a favor and look at this: http://wakeup-world.com/2013/02/26/the-one-peoples-public-trust-oppt-your-frequently-asked-questions-answered The house and senate make $167,000.00 dollars each and when they leave they get it for the rest of their lives. Every one of them are millionairs. Why should we support them till they die?

    March 10, 2013 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • blackhawkmom

      I'm sorry but MANY workers are hard working and dedicated to their job – we have been hit very hard with layoffs, no pay increases, less benefits. These workers are no better than nor more deserving than those of us in the private sector.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • blackhawkmom

      peaceofmind – my comment was not in reply to your comment (which I agree with). New to this type of site and did not see how far down the place was to make comment.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Marshall Thomas

      Should be term limits. When your done go get another job.
      No pay once your done, and no special retirement plans.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  25. Uthor

    Of course. They make a big show about austerity and saving money. And then for their own needs, spend it.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  26. Paulie

    They shouldnt even have their own staffers that we pay for during a time of furloughs and cuts. Cut back let them do their own work and if they want to hire an admin or secretary let them pay for it from their own salaries.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  27. JONNYP

    If local government and state workers can't get a raise for three years regardless of work load increase then the national government should be no different. If anything they should get a longer freeze due to their high salaries and better benefits out of the gate - in an era where pensions, 401ks, and health benefits are being reduced across the board for private sector employees and government workers alike this is over the top. Come on America. Get the house in order

    March 10, 2013 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  28. Tracy Rudin

    The staff presumably gets a set salary plus benefits just like most of the rest of us. If they do a bad job do they get their pay docked? if they do a good job, isn't that expected? Would they not do a good job if there were no bonus? I feel money should not be given as a reward either in good times or difficult times. It encourages all kinds of negative behaviors: greed, comparisons, incentives to do poor work in lean years, and much else. It is unhealthy.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  29. Paulie

    Its funny how many democrats feel this is totally acceptable.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Actually thats not whats funny about your post Paulie...

      March 10, 2013 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  30. Paulie

    They should be getting pay cuts and furloughs not bonuses also be forced to pay for Obamacare health insurance in 2014.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Loretta

      I could NOT agree more!!! And just look at all the Obamas vacations.....

      March 10, 2013 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
      • Paulie

        We took a financial hit this year on our paychecks thanks to them - to say nothing of the financial hit we will take when forced to buy health insurance next year.

        March 10, 2013 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
        • Norm

          Sorry Paulie....I'm done paying for your free emergency room vists with my tax dollars.
          Get health insurance like the rest of the responsible adults and stop standing around with your mouth open and your hand out.

          March 10, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
        • carolyn walker

          To Norm: I went to ER last Nov. due to broken ribs and have not paid them one dime.....due to the fact that illegal aliens get free care.because of my tax dollars.

          March 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • George

        Fox News creeping up on us AGAIN! Obama took 84 days vacation in the first 4 years, W took 268 days in just 2 years!!!
        This 'he doesn't work' is just code for he's Black. OMG we have a black president. 'Let's see his college transcript because he couldn't possibly have gotten into Harvardon merit' (code for 'Blacks are stupid'). Stop this BS. Stop listening to the propaganda machine, do some research ON YOUR OWN (Google can help), assess the information for BIAS (i.e. propaganda). Rinse and repeat.

        March 10, 2013 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
        • Norm

          Anyone that thought the Fox News zombies would leave after they lost the election, just wasn't aware of the mental illness they share when it comes to spreading their lies and hate filled division.
          The fortunate thing is that they are and will always be a sad minority in this country.

          March 10, 2013 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  31. Libs R Liars

    Anyone handing out bonuses while whining about the the spending reductions should have their heads examined.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      With a name like yours, anything you have to say is immediately taken as childish prattle.
      Grow up...

      March 10, 2013 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  32. Corncop

    Doing such a great job at cutting the budget and getting rid of all those pesky civil servants, just have to give em a bonus!

    March 10, 2013 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  33. GW

    The hypocrisy is unbelieveable. These are the same politicians that went to war over wall street bonuses for companies that received TARP because they weren't operating responsibly they said. Is our government? The very same reasons they give for justifying staff bonuses are the same reasons any other company gave during the crisis. Everyone cut staff and employees who stayed had to step up and work more hours and at a higher level. DId these guys give their blessing for bonuses to the private sector in the same scenario? NO. They believe they have a bottomless purse and don't have to operate at the same level of efficiency they expect the rest of the world to.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  34. Jeffrey McIntyre

    I retired from a fortune 200 company after 36 years. We got a bonus when we met or exceeded our targets...from CEO on down. Using that principle, I can only think that the the base target for these folks was "to do nothing"....so they must have met or exceeded that target....I guess?

    March 10, 2013 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Paulie

      Is it possible for them to do less than nothing? I thought you had to be in a union to do that.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Norm

        At a boy Paulie...
        Make sure you get all those Fox News talking points in.
        I bet you get an extra bonus for each one you manage to work into a nonrelated article.
        LOL...

        March 10, 2013 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  35. Jim

    Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL, responded, "We have not had raises or bonuses in several years. The small compensation reflects an increased workload each person had to take on after our staff was downsized because of budgetary cuts."

    Increased workload? This country hasn't seen ANY workload from these people in well over a decade. RIDICULOUS.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  36. harrisonhits2

    Congress is just a collection of greedy human filth. Every day every member of congress commits treason taking bribes from the corporations to put their interests ahead of the country and its people. This is just a fine example of the thieves in Washington that are running this country. Every one of them deserves the traditional punishment for treason.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      It's time for a revolution

      March 10, 2013 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Paulie

        Good luck with your revolution. It would take war with the ignorant brainwashed poor who voted them into office. We have met the enemy and he is us.

        March 10, 2013 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  37. Jerry Hoefen

    Reality check why people feel they should share in others rewards beyond me. One of our main problems is we tend to feel entiltled to what others receive for service an hard work.Personlly i feel lucky just to be alive an free.I beleive what ever congress does is for good of people who serve them we all have familys too feed an care for

    March 10, 2013 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  38. Lisa Looo

    I have 2 observations--–
    1. For the money our Congress has given out as bonus (at least the ones that gave out a lot in) they could have HIRED some people at least part time to do the work they are complaining their staffers are having to do. ----–2. Its what I have come to loathe about our Diva pampered Congress. While some give their lame reasonings for bonuses, its what the rest of govt workers have been faced with since the 90s: Doing more with less. But somehow, its OK for Congress-unbelievable. ------------------3. SEQUESTRATION: Did you know Congress is exempt? Did you also know that Congress can retire after 20 yrs and at age 50? While they ask..no...DEMAND and FORCE..everyone else to do more with less, here they are. Im over it. I cant stand them. The 112th and now 113th Congress have taken more recess than at any other time when this country is heading down the rabbit hole. They show they care by what? Taking a recess-which by the way, we pay for-all of us-civilian and joe govt worker-we all pay for their misdeeds or lack of deeds I suppose. Term limits. That will stop some of this.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Looo

      oops..guess I had more than 2 points..HA!

      March 10, 2013 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Paulie

      They need to follow the same laws and be subject to whatever rulings they dole out – for them to have their own separate set of rules is wrong.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • jbosstutorial

      Great observations. Congress is to blame for the mess we are in. They pass the budget that the President proposes, but they have failed to try and compromise over any budget that the President sends to them. The primary purpose of the Republican controlled 112 and 113 Congress is to obstructionists. While not all of them are obstructionist, their leadership is. With this Republican controlled Congress, it is their way or the highway. The only American people that the Republican controlled Congress is beholden to are the large corporations and the super PACs. They do not in any way whatsoever represent the average person.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Ms Hope

        Really...Sir who has been in charge and now going on 5 years there is still no budget. Who has spent trillions in the last 4 years. Who wants to spend more money? It could mean some one wants to BK America...don't forget if your successful you are demonized...and above all, What's Fair???? Fairness doctrine.

        March 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Heck

        A good case of the tail wagging the dog

        March 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  39. mblack

    It's a smack in the face to read that Congress is handing out bonuses. My friend works as a psychologist at the VA hospital. He works his tail off to meet the needs of our veterans with PTSD. The waiting list for services is long because the VA is underfunded. He has not had a raise in 5 years. Why is everyone else asked to sacrifice but not Congress? Ridiculous.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • jbosstutorial

      Yes and the same goes for our troops fighting the Bush wars. When was the last time they got a bonus? These stinking Congressmen piss me off.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  40. Dan

    Washington continues to show us that they have no clue when it comes to leadership. It is up to the people to remove them from office

    March 10, 2013 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Roy

      They have a clue there's no higher level of management to force them to lead for the peoples benefit and without term limits voters will keep voting the same inept people back in office for life.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • jbosstutorial

      Sorry Dan, large corporations and super Pacs will always find a way to control the weak minded people elected to office. Our system is skewed to favor the wealthy. Tell me, when was the last time a Congressman did anything for the average person?

      March 10, 2013 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  41. msticaries

    I normally don't post however, I don't think it's fair to come down on the bonuses that were paid to the staff. They are "sleps" and while you may think they have a cake job, I can assure you they don't. They work long hours, and some work 7 days a week. They are even in the offices when Congress is on recess. What fries my arse is the raies that Congress gives themselves, the perks that they have given to themselves, and NOT cutting back on what they spend. Let's remember the staff who work for these people are not the ones who should pay for what Congress fails to do.

    March 10, 2013 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSEPH

      HOW DARE THEM TAKE THE BONUSUS WHILE MOST AMERICANS ARE STRUGGLING. MY SO,DAUGHTER IN LAW HAVE A $100,000.00 COLLEGE LOANS FOR THERE DEGREES. MY DAUGHTER IN LAW GETS$12 AN HOUR MY SON $16.00 HOUR MORGAGE, CAR PAYMENT. IF YOU WORK FOR STATE OR FEDERAL THE HOURLY AND BEBEFITS ARE PLENTY. WE NEED TO VOTE THE FAT CATS OUT OF D.C. LOBBYISTS OUT AND TAKE BACK AMERICA.YOU MUST HAVE RELATIVES WHO WORK FOR SOME GOVT AGENENCY. GET REAL

      March 10, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
      • JONNYP

        Joseph, you have no clue what state and local govt workers get do you? Their insurance especially at the local level isn't any better than yours - 15 an hour is starting pay and with raises frozen like they are you're liable to work 30 yrs at or near the same pay rate. I work an avg of 50 hrs/week for that amt and support a growing family and have student loans similar to your children. It's obvious that the federal govt is a gravy boat but that ran dry years ago at the state/local levels. If you don't beleive me watch your next county commisioners/city counsel meeting

        March 10, 2013 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Norm

        Joe...the reason you don't make very much money is evident by the use of the Caps Lock key.

        March 10, 2013 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • USAF TSgt

      What about those of us active duty military...I GUARANTEE you that we work longer and harder THAN ANYONE in Congress, staff or representatives. "they work long hours, and some work 7 days a week."...this is normal...you think the soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines get days off in Afghanistan? Absolutely not! I did almost 8 months in Iraq, 12-18 hour days, 7 days a week....ZERO DAYS OFF. When we're at home station, half the time it's the same story...6-7 days a week, 12+ hour days. I'm not asking for a bonus (and hostile fire pay doesn't remotely constitute a "bonus" for that crap")....I think it's fair to say, NO ONE in Congress or their hard working staffs (and yes, I do have respect for their support staffs since they do most of the work)...deserve raise when they've crippled our defense. Don't let the media fool you, Defense has been hit the hardest. I can't even buy pens for the office...I have to go to OfficeMax and buy my own! It's been long enough, we need to vote in members of Congress that will do the right thing and create a law that says Congress shall not receive pay, nor be allowed to go on break until the federal budget is passed each year...it's freaking March for crying out loud...the fiscal year STARTED back in October! Notice how essentially every member of Congress' webpage has an address verification before you can email them...it limits the number of people than can call them on their BS!

      March 10, 2013 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL, responded, "We have not had raises or bonuses in several years. The small compensation reflects an increased workload each person had to take on after our staff was downsized because of budgetary cuts."

      Increased workload? This country hasn't seen ANY workload from these people in well over a decade. RIDICULOUS.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Paulie

      As if the rest of us dont work hard for little pay or no bonus. They are lucky to even HAVE the jobs they have.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  42. David Teufert

    I feel that this is "pot stirring" reporting. At first glance it may sound terrible, but it should be noted that they all came in below their approved budgets, and in the whole scheme of things, the dollars don't amount to that much. I say, either cut all budgets across the board or let them manage to what's been approved. That's how it's typically done in business. There are far more important issues that we should focused on.

    March 10, 2013 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael McCollum

      Is there a wonder why Congress is hated so much? Look at the arrogance, they take OUR money...and flaunt it among their staff. I sure I could have given our staff a bonus this year, but we were at least thankful to all remain employed and viable. Maybe next year, because we didn't have bonus money (so staffers could take it), we'll be able to eek out enough to hand bonuses.

      March 10, 2013 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      This is a stupid article to get people all angry at the government, and nothing more. I doubt half the people that replied in outrage even bothered to look at the data. The article clearly states its baseing the whole thing off the line items of "other compensation" but that does NOT mean its all bonuses. READ THE DATA! Gary Ackerman D-NY only used 95.2% of his 2012 budget. Of that 95.2%, not in addition too, he has $147,633 listed as "other compensation" which is the highest listed.

      But again that does not mean its all bonus money. Do you really think he gave his case worker who is listed at $10,666 (a quarter, read caveat below) and give her $7,333 in "other compensation" (again read caveat) its probably because that person worked extra hours, over time, more than was budgeted/scheduled for because of staff reductions or what ever reason. And this is for the whole year which gives even more evidence to suggest it was for time worked. Further evidence this article is just to make people mad look at pg 627. Mario Diaz-Balart R-Fl he defended his $2,400 in bonuses which is very modest when divided by the 17 people listed on his staff. But the article would have us believe everything listed "other compensation" is bonus. Which sure as hell doesn't add up to all the "other compensations" listed for the Reps staffers especially if listed quarterly as the header says (again read caveat below)

      The point I am trying to make its stop getting so worked up so damn fast, without getting informed first! The media IS sensationalizing everything to get you worked up! Please read the data when they give it to you in the article.

      (Caveat: stupid government documents need directions it lists the compensations as per quarter, but its doesnt calculate out as per quarter when compared to the year total. I divided the total by the quarterly amount and got a 2.69 multiplier for Mr Ackerman's data (each Rep had a differet multiplier, see what I mean about directions). If you use this with the caseworker broad I used in my example multiplying her listed quarterly and "other compensation" and adding together its $48,416 for the year which is a decent salary not obscene or govt fat cats, especially if some of that is actual over time. Please look at the data for yourselves, individual representatives start on pg 143.

      Media sensationalizm nothing worth getting your panties in a bind over.
      (I do have to apologize to Ms. Heather for singling her out and clling her a broad, sorry I guess im just sexist.)

      March 11, 2013 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  43. mary

    It goes back to that old saw ..."its not WHAT you know its WHO you know"..
    OUr Congress men and women are nothing more than dictators. Speaking out of both sides of thier mouths.. Looking out after #1.. And that means looking out for anyone or anything they care about.. Or need..

    March 10, 2013 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
    • alan fischer

      Where is my raise

      March 10, 2013 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  44. widow

    so basically this is a bonus for staff that they retained to work more so they could save on having other full time employees to do the work? if it balances out then that is totally fine.. it isn't if somehow that ends up in the congressman's pocket.

    March 10, 2013 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  45. dellawhere

    Doesn't look so good.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  46. Rogue351

    The only place other than Wall Street that you can get a bonus for spending other peoples money to make yourself rich. These are the people that should be paying 80 to 90% in taxes. This congress should also be fined 100K each. every time the waste time on topics that don't matter, such as gay marriage, abortion, guns, and rather or not a drone will ever kill a terrorist on American soil, If they are a terrorist they get what they deserve. The only reason this was important to a few is because they are terrorists, Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh didn't want to be constantly looking for an incoming drone with there name on it. They should also be fined 500K each time they let their personal religious beliefs impact the rest of us. And last but not lease if these same members of congress do nothing when the actually have things to do they should be fined 1 million dollars each.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  47. Jack Novak

    Just read that obama laid off his joke writers, since he is the biggest joke, why didn't he lay off himself?? I'm sure there are plenty of golf courses around!!

    March 10, 2013 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Rogue351

      Yes, sure he is a big joke. We are ending our wars, Unemployment is lower than it has been in ages, Interest rates are the lowest they have been in ages. We have healthcare and a choice other that getting screwed by insurance companies. Woman and minorities are more equal now that ever before and the DOW is at record levels. If you call that a joke what did you call Bush, a total failure ? Romney would have put more dollars into more rich peoples pockets and that is about it. History will show that Obama was a great president and it will forget people like you. Just like history forgot the people who still voted in favor of slavery even after they had been freed. There will always be stupid people who cant see the forest for the trees and you, moron are one of them.

      March 10, 2013 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Unemployment is not lower, millions have simply stopped getting unemployment checks and are simply on welfare. Hows those welfare numbers again? Oh ya record highest. Stopping the wars? Maybe you havent heard of Syria, Egypt, and now possibly Iran. Healthcare?? HAHAHA Hidden 2.3% tax on every item you buy that is considered a "medical device" insurance rates going up 50 to 100%. Busines's getting rid of full time employees in favor of part time employees. Gas prices doubled...which of course increase the cost of everything to include bread, milk etc. Ya were far better off with Obama....so if you live of government assistance and enjoy free phones...I guess hes your man.

        March 10, 2013 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
      • Jack Novak

        MORON??? GEE, that was the nicest thing you said about me :)
        Don't know where to start with the lies. Unemployment??? has been steady at 7.6% to above 8%. The OLD!!! Romney jokes are just that, OLD!! Those millionaires in Hollywood hide their money...GUESS WHERE!! When you grow up maybe we can talk about REAL facts!!

        March 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maceo

      Yes. Cause we all really benefitted from the old GOP plan: more unfunded wars, bank heists, bailouts, tax breaks for the rich, job loss, and...Oh, wait...What?.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
    • North Dallas Don

      That was funny. Funny as a dog getting hit by a pickup truck. You aren't even American are you?

      March 10, 2013 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSEPH

      OH YA HOW ABOUT JR AND CHANNEY BULLCRAP LIES AND DECEIT. JR HAD MORE TIME DOWN IN REDNECK COUNTRY. FROM A GOOD SOURCE HE NEVER WAS IN THE STATE HOUSE WHEN HE PLAYED GOVENOR. OH I FORGOT BULLSHIT IS THE REPUKES GAME . GET REAL

      March 10, 2013 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      The joke is on you Jack.
      His name was Mitt Romney
      Hahahahahaha.........

      March 10, 2013 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  48. Chris

    Who cares if it's the Dems or the GOP, why is anyone getting bonuses ?? What a joke. They should all be tarred and feathered in a public square and then people who really care about the country and it's people should be installed in the positions of power. People need to wake up and understand that both parties answer to money not the people. Time to clean up.

    March 10, 2013 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  49. Han

    I believe the staff deserves a bonus for putting up with such dysfunctional lawmakers and working for them.

    March 10, 2013 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  50. Judy

    Thanks to all the liberal who voted for this administration. This is criminal if you ask me!!!

    March 10, 2013 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • agapetus

      What do liberals have to do with the bonus payments? Republicans as well as Democrats gave bonus payments.

      March 10, 2013 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • nawleedgeispowher

      Even though the House is controlled by the GOP and the White House has absolutely nothing to do with the salaries of Congressional staffs...

      March 10, 2013 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • dellawhere

      Are you willfully ignorant or just another troll?

      March 10, 2013 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Aww Judy....
      Im so sorry you want desperately to join the conversation on some kind of intellectual level and all you have rolling around in your empty head are the little bits and pieces of sound bytes you picked up listening to the Hannity M0r0n hour.
      So sad.....

      March 10, 2013 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  51. someonewhodoesntmatter

    good to know

    March 10, 2013 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  52. Stacey

    JUST today when I was out walking, I met a mother who's husband works at in the Border Patrol here in Wa state, said her husband's pay check has been cut by FORTY PERCENT!! Her husband works Border Patrol, she's a stay at home mom, not only does she have to go back to work cutting hair but they have to sell their house and move somewhere where they can manage with 40% (!!!!!) of their income being TAKEN AWAY!! That is just outrageous and THEN to hear that congress is getting bonuses..... I am flabbergasted at what our government is capable of doing! I have no words... I am just dumbfounded!! It's outrageous!!

    March 10, 2013 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      This is great news. As numerous studies show, federal employees make 2x that of their private counterparts

      Just one of many links: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm

      March 10, 2013 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
      • agapetus

        As a federal employee I can say that I do not make nearly as much as other non government employees doing the same job and I sure don't make 2x more than they do. Most of the comparisions are between employees and normal workers in the DC area.

        March 10, 2013 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
        • Jon

          The statistics do not back you up. Federal employees receive a 70% pension vs. private employees getting 0% these days. On a whole, federal employees make 2x in compensation as private employees.

          March 10, 2013 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
        • bear

          Guest,
          Look at the below link. It is only at the PHD level that private total comp is higher than federal.

          motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/01/chart-day-federal-government-pay-vs-private-sector-pay

          March 10, 2013 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
      • Stacey

        That's a very callous thing to say. Maybe you'd have a better understanding, a more ACCURATE understanding, if you had 40% of YOUR pay taken away from YOU. But for someone to say something like that you probably still wouldn't get it.

        March 10, 2013 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        ROFL ya USA today is a spot on news paper with completly truthful facts.

        March 10, 2013 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
    • AmeriRod

      Jon – read the article again. You're taking that out of context. Federal employees are heavily compose of highly technical positions which results in a higher average. Average private pay includes low skill minimum wage jobs seldom found in government. If you compare average pay for federal doctors or engineers with their private counter parts the pay and benefits are much higher in the private sector. It's been shown over and over. Do a little research before you throw out false claims. I've worked both. Private pays much better.

      March 10, 2013 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  53. organically

    Approximately 60% of our federal employees have a college degree, and roughly 20% have an advanced degree such as a Masters of science, law degree, MBA, etc.. In the country as a whole, about 30% of the population had a bachelor’s degree, and less than 10% have an advanced degree. Therefore, the federal government is twice as smart as you.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith B. Rosenberg

      A college degree does not indicate intelligence. It only indicates education.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
      • alumette

        then again, it depends what your degree is about. Basket weaving does not count.

        March 10, 2013 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Caroline Brooks

      You disgust me............

      March 10, 2013 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Caroline Brooks

      You disgust me............and the only one defending your ignorance

      March 10, 2013 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Caroline Brooks

      Oh, and hiding your identity

      March 10, 2013 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Education does NOT equal intelligence. Innovate, smart people do not work for the federal government.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Norm

        Jon you must be very young or very naive or both.
        A college degree means more money no matter what skills were or were not aquired from it.
        Its the way society has worked for generations.
        Ask any CEO why he gave the job to a goofy 24 year old kid instead of a 40 year old that has been doing the job his whole life.
        The kid has a piece of paper saying he went the extra mile to learn a skill (even if he knows nothing about it)
        Plus the kid will start for less pay and be taken advantage of for twice as long as the 40 year old.

        March 10, 2013 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  54. Ticked Off

    I am a government employee. 3 years ago our agency was told NO performance based incentives or bonuses. So how does our lousy leadership in Washington justify this. No other government worker can get a bonus so why do these people get one. We have to do more with less. Only way to resolve this is to not vote for anyone that is currently in the senate or congress. Also the one amendment that protects the senate and congress pay which I believe is the 27th needs to be repealed. It say their pay can not be changed unless it is an election year. They are protected. It is time the people took this country back from the criminals.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      You should be having your compensation cut, in addition to pay freezes. Government employees make twice that of private company employees. Many studies have shown this, here's one: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm

      March 10, 2013 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
      • mandy

        I love you people and your internet statistics. I think that there is a commerical that has something to do with a french model you should watch. It pretty much explains your sad and uneducated responses.

        March 10, 2013 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • okiejoe

      This amendment(the 27th) was submitted for ratification in 1788 but not adopted until 1992. What it actually says is that Congressional compensation cannot be INCREASED until an election of the House has occurred. Cost of living increases don't count.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  55. dhead

    only 1 had a budget under 1 million, do your own research to learn who it was.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Concerned citizen

    Congress has become problem that can be solved with a few well-placed drone strikes. :)

    March 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelley

      ... and don't miss. Not a one ...

      March 10, 2013 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack Novak

      I agree, 1st one goes to the whitehouse!!

      March 10, 2013 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Rozznitz

        I consider your statement a threat to my President and I have reported you. Shame on you for your politics of hate and for making such a stupid statement.

        March 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
        • Jack Novak

          AND YOU think calling in DRONE STRIKES ON CONGRESS is just FINE??!! MASS MURDER is ok with you then,huh??
          BUT, just so WE are CLEAR, if Obama and I were walking towards each other, I WOULD NOT waste the energy it would take to spit in his direction!!
          Sorry, I voted for this fraud the first time around!! BUT ATLEAST I learned from my MISTAKE!! you obviously haven't!!

          March 14, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  57. Char

    I think the majority of Americans are sleepy it must be the HFCS that have put our brains a sleep and all the GMO foods and I like ED Bernays too . We need to read history and use our brains which means simply many are too dumbed down in the USA.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Char

      Only 2000 views since 1998 boy that is amazing ...ED Bernays

      http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/110971-1

      March 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Hadit

    Just a little FYI...as a Federal employee, I haven't gotten a bonus, even with a an outstanding performance report, much less a cost of living raise in over three years, that was frozen by congress BUT congress gets their raises automatically...so why aren't they being hit with a 20% deduction? Don't they get paid by the federal government just as I do?

    March 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • dhead

      You should already know that your boss gets paid first. This is America,

      March 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You are correct, all Federal employees should be taking a pay cut right now (not to mention, their gold-plated medical and retirement benefits should be reduced). Tens of millions of Americans are either out of work or have had substantial pay cuts yet Federal employees continue to expect raises and bonuses. Such a repulsive entitlement mentality.

      Here is Nancy Pelosi's comment on the issue. She is absolutely dispicable.
      "I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded."

      March 9, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jon

        Federal employees make 2x the amount of private workers. Cut their pay now!

        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm

        March 10, 2013 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
        • mandy

          It's amazing how people who collect checks for a living and have never done anything to advance themselves in any way want to see people who actually WORK punished and brought down. That's what your about. You don't care about the budget or the state of the country you just want to hurt others because your a little coward who is obsessed by your own self loathing. Nothing says failure quite the way your posts do. You make me sick. How about this, move out of grandma's basement, get a job and then you get to have an opinion.

          March 10, 2013 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
        • Hadit

          Really Jon, get my bank deposit is less now as a federal employee than what it was two years ago in the private sector.

          March 10, 2013 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
      • AmeriRod

        A very large part of the Federal workforce are engineers, scientists and doctors. This raises the average. There are very few Federal employees working at coffee shops or flipping burgers. If you compare pay and benefits of those class of Federal employees with their private counter parts it's not even close. Private pay is 25-40% higher. Retirement in Federal government is simply an IRA with some limited matching funds. Most corporation provide much better benefits. Do some research.,

        March 10, 2013 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        I am a government employe and pay 700$ per month for my medical insurance. How much do you pay?

        March 10, 2013 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelley

      All members of congress should be paid as follows: Full pay the first year. Every year after the first should be paid based on the publics approval rating of them. 20% approval x $100k = $20k. Maybe then we'd have there fkn attention.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob Haas

      I work in a technical field and just got my first raise (3.015%) in 3-1/2 years even though I get outstanding reviews, have a great work-ethic and am continuously putting in more than 40 hours every week. Why do we keep putting up with Washington and its ruling class? Clean out all the lawyers and get some people who've actually had to work for a living in there.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Hadit

        You've got that right! I would just LOVE to ask John Boehner how much a loaf of bread costs and then take him grocery shopping with me and then have him sit down with me while I rob peter to pay paul when paying my bills! They don't have a clue. We need to get rid of these career politicians! I want Warren Buffet as our Secretary of the Treasury.

        March 10, 2013 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  59. Dana

    Way to go, congressional dou*chebags.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Loyal Northern Democrate

    Vote against anyone who is an incumbent in office. They are all garbage.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Lou50

    Ultimate disrespect for the state of the country!

    March 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I view this more or less as a lack of self respect and patriotism: by the majority of American voters. Most of the legislature and the last three presidents have been reelected by their constituents. In addition to this misuse of taxpayer money in the current financial crisis America faces, the federal government gave Syrian rebels $60 million and Egypt $250 million. Putting professional politicians in leadership positions has ruined America.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Beverly A. Lewis

    If Congress wants to reward their staffers then it should come from their own pockets! Didn't the sequester's across the board cuts include Congressional pay? Quite a loophole there! NO TAXPAYER MONEY should be spent on anyone's bonus let alone anyone on Capitol Hill! I can't believe the disregard Congress has for the Taxpayer and anyone who gave taxpayer money for a bonus should be made to repay it immediately!

    March 9, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Dozer

    Most Congressional staffers barely make a livable wage for DC. Other than the Chief of Staff and Legislative director, these guys don't get paid enough to open a savings account, and they're living month-to-month in group houses.

    I know you myopic rage queens want to cut off your nose to spite your face, but I'd like for my Rep to actually have a staff working for my district.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Incorrect. Unfortunately under the Obama administration, the pay for Federal employees across the board has been rising dramatically. At last count there were 459,016 federal workers who make over $100,000 a year in salary. That's 22% of all Federal workers. And that doesn't take into account the outrageously generous medical and retirement benefits. So please stop drinking Liberal Kool-aid.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jon

        Federal workers make 2x as much as private workers. Richest counties in USA? Check thes ones around DC.

        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm

        March 10, 2013 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
      • TMG

        please provide the source of your information. It would be fair to assume that salary increases due to the rise in the cost of living will come with each president Did you also compare the rise between Clinton and Bush? I hope you did not say that just to make people believe Obama is unfairly raising fed employees' salaries.

        March 10, 2013 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
      • jbosstutorial

        Scott, obviously you drink republican beer, because it is your republican friends in congress that approved the federal pay rates. I just love it when stupid people like Scott post stupid comments so that I can attack them.

        March 10, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  64. MightyMoo

    Didn't the army announce that they eliminated tuition assistance due to budget constraints today? Way to go Congress!

    March 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  65. GeorgeBos95

    All those bonuses should be immediately REVOKED.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caroline Brooks

      Should be but "we the People" obviously have no power....Seriously don't know why we even vote anymore, they are all the same – thieves...........

      March 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  66. MightyMoo

    Congress is as bad as bankers.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • kapolei_dad

      Politicians are just dumb and dumber! That is why they deserve the 20% pay cut they are forcing on federal employees. So they can finally feel what the pain is like!!!!

      March 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  67. David

    And what is anybody going to do about it? Nothing? Be told they can make a change by voting in their next election and getting somebody else into office?

    What matter is it to the henhouse the color of the wolf devouring its inhabitants?

    I would think almost everybody knows of this rot.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      The American voting public has a chance to change this but we choose not to do so with our ballots. We have a President who tells us that he is going to spend like a drunken sailor and yet we've now voted him into office twice.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • TMG

        Do you have a problem with the republicans because according to this article, we are not talking about Obama. I question why some Senators have been voted again several times and it is apparent they are not trying to work to solve our problems or to help the needs of the majority but are working against Obama at the cost of citizens. Do you see a problem with that or is it just Obama?

        March 10, 2013 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  68. oldesalt

    After reading these posts, it's obvious why the government wants to ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines. It's not to save lives. It's to protect them. The American people are fed up with the hypocrisy and self serving interests of the government and they fear the people are nearing a breaking point.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • organically

      It's your type of radical right rhetoric that had been so damaging to the country and the republican party

      March 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • oldesalt

        Time will reveal the truth.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
        • oldesalt

          And I hope I'm wrong.

          March 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
        • David

          Wide-scale stockholm syndrome?

          Spend more time thinking critically and less time accepting as fact those things that somebody has been paid to tell you.

          March 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Caroline Brooks

        God, R U really that stupid

        March 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
        • Caroline Brooks

          Organically, really what the he** is that

          March 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Caroline Brooks

    We the People need to stand together. Everyone needs to go into work on Monday and file exempt on their W-2. They can't throw us all in jail. Maybe this will get their attention – I can't stand our government........

    March 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • organically

      If you can't stand our government, there are about 180 other countries around the world where you could go live tomorrow.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • William

        What exactly is your problem? Are you not fed up with being lied to, and the blatant disregard for fairness from ALL our elected officials? You seem to attack anyone who utters frustration...why?

        March 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
        • Caroline Brooks

          Probably a free loader

          March 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
        • Caroline Brooks

          Or, a government employee that doesn't want his bonus to go away

          March 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Caroline Brooks

        F-U Moron

        March 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • organically

      The vast majority of federal government employees are hard working, dedicated, and underpaid. So why are we taking the blame????

      March 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Brian

    What a joke!!! Another slap in the face to U.S. taxpayers! These fatcats in Congress have no conscious, to give bonuses to each other while they continue to get nothing done. What is wrong with our crooked politicians?

    March 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freddy Canuck

      I wonder what would happen if you put 299 regular folk in a room together (you could even make it half republican and half democrat) and asked them to run the country? You would have a lot of different opinions but none of the special interest groups prodding them to make bone-headed decisions. Stay away from issues such as gun control, because that it a bottomless pit, but concentrate on fiscal questions alone. Could they do a worse job? Not too bloody likely! And they would at least have a feel for what the everyday Joes and Josephines are facing.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • opiepaul

        That's the only thing that could save this country. Reboot the government, this time with Real People – not with paid-to-order lobbyists and made-to-order politicians. Cut the pork, stop the b.s. and Get The Job Done!

        March 10, 2013 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  71. JC

    So I would like to direct a couple of questions to "ALL" the Elected Officials from both parties.

    Why, won't you join in with the rest of America and cut your own wages and benifits to match those of the American Citizen?

    Why, do you campain for a better America, get elected and then go home when the going gets tough during financial crises's?

    Why, Do you continuously put the American public in HARMS WAY? both financially and militarily.

    Why? do you allow the constant rape and pilferage of our own constitution?, taking away the rights of the American individual that were written begining with " WE THE PEOPLE " by our fore fathers that bled and gave their lives on the battle field so that generations preseeding them would have the hope of continueing freedom for every man woman and child born on American soil?

    Am I wrong? arent you elected to preserve the contents and liberties of the constitution and not to debate them?
    Are you not elected to protect and serve the American public and their rights as citizens?

    I for one Challenge all of you to publicly anwser these questions, put yourselves on record and also tell America, Would you hurt yourself financially as you are doing to the american public?

    Are you man or woman enough to make the same sacrifices you are asking of the american citizen?

    Well? Who's first?

    put the friggen money back in SS, Americans have allready PAID FOR IT! and still are.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • deeann

      Very well stated.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  72. Freddy Canuck

    I really don't get it! Why you Americans put up with these ass clowns is beyond me. America has grown complacent. It's citizens are asleep at the wheel while some drunk steers the car from the back seat – blindfolded! You have got to get off your asses and put laws in place that make your elected officials immediately answerable for these types of transgressions. I don't mean voting them out in 2-4 years, but being allowed to kick them out right away. Take away their pensions!

    March 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Troy

    Hmm, so most Government employees are getting a 20% paycut (furlough), and these guys are getting a bonus? Hard working employees eh? And the ones getting paycuts aren't? Not only that, judging by the lack of ability for congress to get anything done, I would not say that the bonuses are based on performance.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freddy Canuck

      It wouldn't be so bad if these bonuses were being paid out of the Congressmans' pockets. A business owner takes money out of his own pocket to pay his people bonuses. Congressmen take it out of YOUR pockets. Seems to me it is easy to be generous when you're doling out other people's money.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  74. You kidding me

    Sad Sad Sad . This is the best country in the world with the worst government

    March 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freddy Canuck

      United States might be the most powerful nation on Earth, but it is not the best country. Far from it. When you consider that your race relations suck, that the Chinese own about half of your economy (yeh, I know, a huge exageration), and that the North Koreans are going to hit you soon with their full nuclear arsenal, the USA is far from the best country. Kind of makes you yearn for the Bush era when guys like Cheney had the country's best interests at heart. hehehe

      March 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        Freddy, stop being a hoser.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
        • Freddy Canuck

          You have to understand, Dan, that I need you Americans to fix your mess so that we Canadians can copy what you did up here.

          March 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Guest

        Your understanding of life is what you see in the Sunday morning cartoons. Regardless of any threat from any other country the USA is still the most powerful country on this planet. This should be appear in the fact that we are back to back world war champs. Please I do dare you to challenge the great nation of America, because besides all the ongoing problems we pull together to level other countries all the time.

        March 10, 2013 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Norm

        That's right Freddy.
        We do it our way.
        Just sit back and enjoy the show up there.

        March 10, 2013 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • organically

      Syria? North Korea? Nigeria? Iran? Try watching the national new once in a while instead of those knucklehead reality shows

      March 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Levi

    It's a good thing that bonuses were handed out for all of the work that got has been done in Congress recently....

    March 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
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