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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. Rafael

    Talking about slapping the American people on the face!

    March 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mary1972

    To congress woman Thompson, Mike, D-CA. At a time when the federal govt is laying off people or furloughing them, it is irresponsible to spend money on bonuses when it is tax-payer's $$$.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. prahcs

    In the past 6 years, as a construction worker, I haven't recieved a single raise or bonus. In fact, I make less now than I did in '06... working as a laborer at the time. Every year my hours grow less, yet food and fuel (and everything else) cost more and more! Somehow congressmen, and their staffs, want to act like they deserve bonuses and pay increases. We the people depend on them to take care of us, yet all they do is pad their own wallets, talking and talking. Why don't they take a paycut, or spend a day in the trenches with the rest of us to see how it feels off their iron horse?

    March 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • J in Denver

      There's the start of your problems... "We the people depend on them to take care of us"

      Don't depend on the Government, demand that they SERVE you not TAKE CARE of you.

      Protect our rights, mediate disputes and get the heck out of our way.

      March 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    I'm all for hard work getting paid for; but Congress gets too much for their staff as it is. And today my friends student aid for being in the Army and serving multiple tours of Iraq was rejected(due to cuts, not anything to do with this individual). Seems legit.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. suemac47

    On the first day of sequestration the Feds published 400 job applications. Impose a hiring freeze and your puny $85 billion in "cuts" is resolved. Along with that have each of our politicians take a voluntary 20% cut in their individual budgets to run their little fiefdoms.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • marty rogers

      such ignorance!

      March 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary1972

    To congressman Ross, Dennis, R-FL, at a time, when the federal govt is laying off people or putting them on furlough for once a week, it is responsible for congress to spend money like this. I am a democrat and come next election, I will remember how the Dems are spending the tax payer's $$$.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A.S.

    Unfortunately I can understand why they did the UNDESERVED bonuses. Their people may have worked hard but I know a lot of people who work hard and don't get bonuses, are getting furloughed, or have not gotten a pay raise because there is no money in the budget. I worked at a government agency and they get a certain amount of money each fiscal year. If that money is not spent then they get less the next year so they buy stuff they don't really need. I think that is completely wrong and no wonder we were hit with sequestration. There needs to be term limits for every elected official because they aren't working for the people anymore. I don't think they should get their salary for life. I know of NO company that does that. These people have to go!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary1972

    To congressman Diaz-Balart, Mario, R-FL who said "Response from the congressman: "The small compensation reflects an increased workload each person had to take on after our staff was downsized because of budgetary cuts.", there are lots of job cuts due to off-shoring and every day, employees take on the responsibility of the people who are laid off and they don't get any special bonus.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chris

    Wa Wa Wa, crying is what teh people in this country do best. Fellas, if you dont like the government...stand up and do something about it!

    Many of you went to college thinking that a piece of paper was your ticket to life. In reality, it just enslaved you to debt. I decided after a year that college was a waste, so I dropped out and got a job and worked my way up the ladder...like our ancestors did. And guess what? No debt.

    Honestly, if anyone is dumb enough to work on Capitol Hill for these bozos...they deserve peanuts. Interns on Capitol Hill should stop being sheeple and quit

    March 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chet

      Chris this is the most ignorant item written on CNN in a while. There's more to college than the "piece of paper" handed out after 4 years. People in college learn about themselves and also the opportunity to interact with people from other cultures/backgrounds. Im sorry you didn't stick with it. Quitters never win.

      March 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • marty rogers

      your lack of imagination is astonishing. Just because a particular set of circumstances worked for you, doesn't mean it should work for all nor do you have any understanding what others do.

      March 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. topfuel500

    So you get a bonus for helping a LAWMAKER do nothing and cause other hard working people to lose their job, our government at it's best.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. abdc1

    Gee ,I have done a lot of good work for the boss .All I recieved was letter to say thanks for doing a good job .Some time recieved pizza ,never a bonus. Only Congress get away with it + a pay raise when everyone I getting laid off down sized during hard times. Sound like a bank CEO giving bonus's during recession failure of banks. We end up paying either way it goes

    March 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tracy

    Really? Someone wants to make this a race issue? This is about all of them not doing thier job. Passing a budget. I am sorry but if I have to balance my budget and that means I can't have extravegances, neither can they. Cut all the pork programs, stop giving away money overseas to "make friends" and focus the energy on fixing America before it is too late. It kills me to read – 800,000 employees going in to furlough for 20% pay reduction - but we can send $60M to Syria to help them out (give me a break!!) Your own people need you to HELP THEM OUT FIRST! vote all of them out of congress and get some new names – faces, heck I would vote for a common everyday farmer or housewife over ANY politician right now.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mary

    This is the issue.. They are hypocrites.. Thinking of themselves as hierarchy. It used to be an honor to "serve" your country..
    The prestige, and the privilege., the feeling of being better than the average American came later..
    But now, there is a sense of being above the rest. Worth more than the rest.. And a sneering attitude of the very people that pay their wages.
    They are the takers.. The makers are the people out here working at low paying jobs, working hours and hours.. Just trying to survive from day to day..
    Its their money they are taking for themselves.. While making decisions about how these poor suffering men and women might get a little bit of it back in the way of help.. LIke unemployment..SSI.. medicare.. All the things they feel they need for themselves, they want to deny the very people who are paying it in~!!
    Needing, having and getting for themselves..Thats what getting into office means to them.. Just a way to get rich, and be in control .

    March 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mary1972

    If you look at the list, most of the huge bonuses were given by the Democrats. I did an excel sheet of it and found the worst prize goes to "Ackerman, Gary, D-NY"

    March 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • marty rogers

      Mary you live in a deception. It is all of them. Have you looked at the money republicans get from lobbyists in their campaigns? much more than democrats. It is both parties because it has become part of the culture. You failing to see that makes you a puppet

      March 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rand Paul

      Two wrongs do not make a right. It is both parties who are responsible. We need fresh faces in Washington, ones that will not become corrupt and that listen to the people and stand up for their rights.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jeff

    Crooks, every last one of them!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  16. scootfl78

    People shouldn't be upset at their staff getting bonuses, but the fact that Congress is getting a salary while they're cutting services and causing layoffs around the country. It's a do nothing Congress that's getting paid even if they spend only 100 days working (and the House is the one that's working the least...big surprise...it's ran by the Republicans and they're the only ones who can set the schedule).

    March 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  17. john larris

    What a slap in face for us Government workers!!! The former president and Congress got us in this mess. Pres. Obama has a lot to answer to on this one. Congress acts if the Government workers caused the Fxxxxxx deficit. I think we need to get rid of Congress and end the House and Senate and put all their AXX in one in building and tell them to vote on a Bill and majority rule either good for or bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Government workers are taking a 14 day furlough. I hope you people wake up cause your safety is on the line. Call your reps and put pressure on them to fix this SXXT!!!!!!. Most People on the hill are Rich so this so called sequester won't hurt them at all. I would like to see term limit on the Senate and House Members also!!!!! The President get two terms so do your two and move the hell on!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Marc

    THIS SUCKS!!!!!!!! Fix the budget. Everyone else is cut back and told spend less,... you authorize bonuses... 1yr in office and 175 k for life and full medical benefits. We need to take a good look at what we are paying our lawmakers and what they are doing. Once again.. THIS SUCKS!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobs

      Read the article, not just the headline. Their STAFF (aka the little people) got bonuses, not the congressmen. Their compensation is nowhere near the numbers you cite.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • loreebeeee

      Unfortunately, you have no idea what you are talking about. There is no such thing as free medical care for congress, nor free retirement money for life.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  19. meh

    Step 1) Review the list and find reps from your home state.
    Step 2) If you find any from your home state, go to their website.
    Step 3) Let them know how you feel.

    For each rep who took a bonus, Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      You are right. I am trying to tabulate it in their spending order to see the big spenders. Come election time, we should remember these congress men and women.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • loreebeeee

      Their STAFF. Their STAFF. Read again.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  20. rick

    AND OBAMA JUST CAME BACK FROM A 2 DAY GOLF TRIP WITH THE TIGER. THE COST FOR THIS WOULD
    Have Employed 250 Federal Workers > For an Entire Year. Now he is Planning another Martha Vineyard Trip

    March 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • meh

      Do some research on Presidential vacation time. Obama isnt even close to being the top. Im not one to blame everything on Bush – but he is the top. In fact as a whole, Dem presidents take far fewer vacation then their Republican counterparts.
      Its a fine talking point for talking heads tho.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • viaquest

        The difference is that President Bush took vacations to his own Ranch in Texas, where Obama takes vacations all over the world at the tax payers expense! 20 million for a trip to Spain is a little different than flying to Texas and riding his own horses!! Why am I paying for the Resident to play golf with Tiger Woods???

        March 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rinkrat

      Rick, every president goes on golf outings. Get over yourself.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melvin Diggs

      Now that was just stupid to write. I'm a federal employee, I make $49k per year (that's average), you're saying President Obama spent $12,250,000 for a two day golf weekend, are you crazy????

      March 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • marty rogers

      everybody is entitled to a vacation. When excessive it is a problem but it appears to me this is actually an extremely hard working president whether you like his ideas or not.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • viaquest

        Surely you were being sarcastic!!! This is the worst do nothing admin we have ever had! maybe you should pull you head from the sand and readf somthing other than CNN

        March 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ronny

      sure glad none of the other presidents didn't ply golf etc.

      March 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. another_opinion

    Is there no way to hold these people accountable!!! They are not working for the American public and are so far removed from reality that it's no longer funny.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  22. The Big Troll

    If I was as bad at my job as they are at theirs I would not have a job let alone a friggen bonus....

    March 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Ryan

    A man goes to interview for a job at the post office. The interviewer asks the man if he is allergic to anything. "I'm allergic to caffeine so I'm not able to drink coffee" is his response. The interviewer asks him if he is a veteran. He says "yes, I am. I served a tour in Iraq while in the army". "Very good" says the interviewer. "Did you get hurt at all?" says the interviewer. The man responds "yes, actually a bomb went off close to me and blew off both of my testicles". "Oh my!" You are hired!" says the interviewer. "Our hours here are 8-4 but you can work from 10-4 and receive the full pay and benefits of a federal employee" says the interviewer. The man asks "Why only from 10-4 if the hours are 8-4"? The interviewer says "This is a government job. For the first two hours every day all we do is sit around, drink coffee and scratch our b alls so you don't need to worry about it".

    March 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Hilarious. Obviously, it's not just govt employees that sit around drinking coffee, but the stereotype in the joke is effective.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Janet

    This truly makes me want to throw up. Congress needs to have their budget cut down to $ 500,000 per member to cover travel, office space, and their apartment in D.C. The majority of members have a budget well over one million. Teachers would love to have a raise for their hard work, we have had a reduction in pay and increase in insurance premiums for 5 years now. I now take home what I did 6 years ago, yet gas prices have risen, food has increased, and the cost of living is way more. What are they doing for me? NOTHING!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Skip

    These bonus's are bigger than most people make in a whole year! lol ;p

    The 100k+ they make is never enough. That goes to all these businesses that give HUGE bonuses to managers no matter what.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  26. efmbman69@gmail.com

    I sense a lot of outrage here, but I honestly wonder: Who will remember this in November of 2014? 2016? How many of these people were just re-elected last November? How many of these people were re-elected last November and KNEW this sequestration was going to happen? Time will tell...

    March 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Mark

    like this was unexpected. The abuse of power by politicians reigns supreme in the land of the dumb. These guys give themself a 50% payraise a decade or so ago "because we have to maintain two households" (I was active duty; we often did too, but never saw such a payraise), have to make a law to have their pay sequestered, as they are exempt from the same laws they write – comical – and then take a week off the week prior to 1 Mar, showing how interested they were in actually passing a budget.
    I'd rather minor criminals be released to make room than let these politicans continue to drive our country into the ground. Heck, even white collar felons... I'd rather them in society than these scum.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  28. CR

    Unbelievable! One congressman gave out over $147k in bonuses! They spent over $567k on new communications equipment in eight months! This should be a crime, oh they right and approve the laws.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike from Seattle

      Not counting janitorial staff, committee staffs, etc., there's almost 12,000 employed as personal staff for the House and Senate. Total staff, including the non-personal staff, is over 24,000. Total annual costs exceed $2.2 billion. 535 members of Congress generating that much of a hit just on staffing. No travel, non-labor costs, etc. That's another big cost separately. And at the end of the day, they all point the finger and try to outdo Pinochio when dealing with the taxpayer.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  29. The Big Troll

    Nice to see that while they are raising our taxes, cutting Social Security, pushing back retirement age and cant get their $#it together about anything that they can still get their bonus......BS!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • loreebeeee

      What bonus did THEY get?

      March 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Dale Cordell

    They do this because WE allow them to get away with it. WE have become so affraid to stand up against this crooked congress and they know it. Everyone of us has the POWER to walk into the HR department where we work and make changes to their W-4 forms and send ONLY the taxes you feel is needed to run this country. Claim exempt if you can or claim many dependents and then put the extra money you will recieve each check into a special savings account. At the end of the year and based on performance only then send the taxes you feel is justified. This is the one way "We the People" and true government, can send a clear message that we DO NOT APPROVE. It is time we take control of the money our Congress continues to misappropriate.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Mike

    What about the federal workers that haven't had a raise since 2010, and many of which are being furloughed? Congress gives their staff's bonuses while people are being furloughed?? That doesn't seem right.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • marty rogers

      exactly!

      March 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  32. snowball

    Until Government ran out money.... Soon America will be bankrupted those who already take accountant at senior level. They were detect the spending and adult from real estate material, unpaid employees, workers, unpaid taxes ,etc.

    GOP will get into big big trouble. not just small trouble. But big trouble like 2008 stock crash.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  33. S.S.

    I was a soldier for 14 years and never got a bonus from my government. My last deployment I ruined my back. I barely can scrape out a living in constant pain and the VA sends me a check for $125 a month for compensation.Everyone in D.C. needs to get their heads out of the third point of contact and stop screwing over the taxpayers !!!! If you have money left at the end of the year ITS NOT YOURS TO GIVE AWAY !! It belongs to the taxpayers ! It goes back in the pool ! Can everyone see now why our government wants to take our guns away ??!! They want to do as they please with YOUR tax money and answer to NO ONE....not even YOU the taxpayer.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      Thank you for your service and sacrifice. You make some good points. I hope the voting American public remembers this when elections/re-elections come up.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  34. nancheska

    Know what, maybe this is just spittin' in the wind, but I'm calling my congressman to ask him to take his bonus and DONATE it to charity (military familes, homeless, you-name-it). Then, I want him to encoulrage all of his fellow congressmen to do likewise. Hey, it's worth a phone call, dont you think?

    March 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • loreebeeee

      Great. But it was STAFF that was given bonuses.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Rich

    The whole thing is so Orwellian! Some Pigs are more equal than Others!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Barry G.

    What a disgrace!

    It's not enough that they use their offices to become wealthy–far beyond their annual salaries; and, it's not enough that they get hansome pensions, for the rest of their lives. They want more.

    Such greed–how sad.

    Is it any wonder why the USA is in such decline!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • loreebeeee

      What kind of pensions. You know that is a lie right?

      March 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  37. summer

    In response to REP Mike Thompson.
    Too bad military doesn’t get bonuses do they not have a hard working, dedicated team?
    Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA, wrote, “have a hard working, dedicated team… and I want to pay a salary that reflects their service.”

    March 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  38. anchorite

    WTH? That headline is severely misleading. It is not a "congressional" bonus, but a "congressional staffer" bonus. Those people work for free a lot of the time. It's hardly pigs at the trough. They are the ones who take all the angry calls from you people.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • thx1111

      Regardless, they should not be eligible for bonus at all period, I am all for the support staff getting fair wages. But it's a insult to people who have to take unpaid furloughs, for example.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • nancheska

      Good point...it IS a misleading headline, and you're right the the staff person taking the calls likely gets deaf from all the angry constituents' yelling. However, it's worth noting that congressional retirements aren't going to be affected by sequestration; that was already written into law before sequestration went into effect.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • motionlessinpink

      I'm a teacher. I work a lot of extra hours too without pay. I deal with angry parents, unruly children, and hateful administrators. Plus I actually do something useful for a living where's my bonus ?

      March 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Max Dombrovsky

    There is a great idea (by a brilliant scientist, who in 1994 invented inhibitor cocktail for HIV treatment and helped to save millions of lives) about the way to fix dysfunctional governments and build a true democratic real-time political system. Since links are not allowed in comments, you will need to Google yourself the following words: people system + alator

    March 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  40. LaRock

    The only time politicians on both side come together

    March 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  41. R Dizzle San Jose, CA

    Yet another reason to enforce term limits on our Senators and Representatives. I would like to see Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi working at McDonalds rather then pulling the strings. George Washington and the Founders are rolling over in their graves right now.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      And yet – if you actually look at the list you see that Nancy Pelosi was one of the most fiscally responsible representatives with her budget – spending only 82% of her annual budget compared to the majority of everyone else in the 90th percentile and above. AND SHE GAVE NO BONUSES EITHER.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      ...and if you count up the number of representatives that gave bonuses on each side of the aisle, it's a virtual mirror image: 40 republicans and 41 democrats. Looks like a bipartisan issue – not one you can neatly pin on a "side".

      March 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • A Concerned citizen

        Heather... nice that you can count how many of each gave what, but did you total the amounts? One side gave almost twice as much.

        March 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • marty rogers

      Nancy Pelosi? seriously? she is cheap as they come with her staff. Boehner on the other hand....

      March 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  42. wheels

    THEY ALL NEED TO BE FIRED! EVERYONE!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowball

      You can't fire them all. Only if you support opposition government you can fire them.
      Just get a law degree, government, etc will get into Washington's office.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  43. scooter

    This is anger inducing but has to be kept in perspective. Congress and the President are not "in charge" of the economy. We have a demand economy so we cannot blame Washington for that. In the USSR you could blame the government since it was in charge of the economy. And a representatives budget could be less if they lived in DC instead of constantly traveling back to their state. But we want our reps at home and in DC so that means an everyday office in their state as well as in DC. And the average representative in the House has to represent 712,000 people. So if the budget for a person that has to do the bidding of 712,000 people is a million bucks that is a pretty good deal.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  44. JC

    Difference between Government greed and Corporate greed.

    Corporate greed gives bonuses to people with their own money from stock prices.

    Government greed gives bonuses to people from tax payer money.

    Tell me liberals who is the real thief here?

    March 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • scooter

      And a bad idea is no less bad by being privately bad. And the money that the idiots on Wall Street get paid comes out of companies that I own stock in. And getting a bonus for ruining a business that I own stock in is every bit as reprehensible. Actually more so.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  45. willhaas

    I wish that the federal government could afford to give everyone bonusus but the oppositie is true. I estimate that the money that the federal government is having to borrow wll end up costing the tax payers 10 times the amount borrowed to repay over the next 170 years. Having to pay 10 tiems the going rate for goods and services is not a good deal. In today's economy, people in government service should feel lucky to have jobs. The current sequester provides less than one thenth the savings that are required for the federal government to ballance their budget. Compensation to federal employees needs to be severely reduced, not increased. If the employees do notlike it they will be free to persue better opportunities in the private sector. It is the President's goal for the federal government to start posting surpluses by 2015 but even the President's own White House is predicting that the President will not achieve his goal and that the federal governmet will continue to post huge deficits for at least another decade. The President needs to provide a detailed financial plan as to how the President's goal can be achieved.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Gora Uchit

    Abolish Congress!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  47. B.

    Outrageous rewards for contemptible behavior, and should be challenged!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Rob

    FIRE THEM ALL. THE CONGRESS PEOPLE INCLUDED. NONE, FROM THE WHITE HOUSE ON DOWN HAS EARNED A DIME AND TO GIVE BONUS'S IS STUPID. IT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED CRIMINAL

    March 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Matt

    And at one point in time does the mass media make a big stink about this? Rather than a minor headline on their websites...

    March 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Melissa

    I am a RN and just took a significant pay cut ($6/hr), and am not hearing rumors of no bonuses this year. I work hard. The understanding in our business is you work more with less...less staff, less compensation, or the patients will be the one's that get hurt. Everyone is dealing with cutbacks and trying to balance a budget, private or otherwise. For the members of government to be giving bonuses, some of which were a pretty significant amount of money is ridiculous. Do they not live in our world? I firmly believe that the cuts that need to happen are at the top....extravagant living on taxpayers money is crazy. Some of us are struggling day to day, living paycheck to paycheck, wondering where their next meal will come from or how they will heat their home. Extravagant living, dining, vacations on the taxpayers' money needs to stop!!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Herriott

      I know exactly the world you're living in. I was at my last company for 6 years. No raises, certainly no bonuses, but our hours were periodically reduced from 40 hours per week to 32 per week and this would go on for months.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • homer234

      I am a gov't employee. Our pay has been frozen at 2010 level since then. Last year I didn't get a bonus of any kind, nor do I expect one this year. And just around the corner, we will have our bi-weekly paychecks cut by 20% Why? Because our elected officials with a lifetime of paycheck security from cuts have continued to be a totally non-productive burden to the United States taxpayers. For their gross dereliction of duty, they vote to give themsleves and their immediate reprts bonuses and pay raises. Where were they the week before the 01 March sequestration deadline? A: on vacation for the whole week. Where were they during the 18 months preceding 01 March? Working on ways to pay for the illegal immigrants' potential benefits as a reward for being felons, in fact, using the sequestration as an invalid excuse to release the ones we have in custody onto the streets of our nation. If Congress members were working for private industry, they'd be arrested for swindling corporate funds, or just plain old fired for being so arrogantly incompetent. Why do we tolerate these imbeciles? While the rest of us gov't employees will either be furloughed or just plain old laid off due to these criminals' activities, they'll just ho-hum their way to and from the capital and their states as if they are doing something for somebody. What would our Founding Fathers think of this sickness? Our gov't is a big cancerous lesion – instead of having it cut out, it keeps growing and growing into a huge cancerous tumor waiting to take this whole country to the morgue.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • loreebeeee

        If you are a federal employee, than you would know that members of congress get the same retirement benefits as you.

        March 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
        • Mike

          you're incorrect and naive if you think Congress is on the same retirement and benefits as federal employees. Not to mention Congressional pay and benefits by law can not be changed. Furthermore more than 50% of Congressional members are millionaires and their government salary doesn't make the difference between them paying their kids day care, mortgage, car payment, etc. Federal employees have incorrectly been characterized as "fat cats", etc by Fox News. While $100,000 is a healthy salary the majority of federal workers making that salary have four year degrees or higher and significant work experience. Also, making $100,000 in a metropolitan area such as Los Angeles, NY, Washington doesn't go nearly as far as you'd think where tolls can be $20+ a day, subway tickets $150+ a month, parking etc. Its almost as if people have the impression that federal employees are millionaires themselves and not people trying to make a living just like everyone. While federal jobs use to come with a level of job security, the trade off was that nobody is getting "rich" on their government jobs.

          March 9, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  51. meterman

    God call these corrupt people Viper's, Go and silther on your belly you devil's. You will not have God's Blessing and everything you Touch will crumble and die.except god people.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  52. jerpell

    Liberal Democrats are very dirty corrupt people!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      Liberal Democrats? You do realise that the MAJORITY of the Congress is REPUBLICAN, yes? Or do you only follow FAUX News, the one that has been proven those who watch it are less informed than people that don't watch or read any other news?

      March 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • aergern

      @jerpell Then how do you explain that Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL and Rep. Dennis Ross, R-FL did this as well. You should check yourself and not be so judgmental because Conservative Republicans did it as well. You, my friend, ARE the biggest part of the problem. You don't appear to care that both sides did this and you just take the opportunity to make yourself look silly.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Wake up! Republican or Democrat. Liberal or Conservative. Fact is, the average staffer works their ASS OFF. Most of them do not make very good salaries. Divide the time they work by their wage and include their "bonus" and it is maybe pizza money. The radio report was tripe. You could up the representative and find out how much they paid the staffer (including bonus). You guys are such babies!

      March 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  53. bobs

    Oh, and by the way. The federal budget has not been cut ONE RED CENT. Every department of the federal government, including DOD, will get more money next year than they received next year. But they can't maintain even the current years l;evel of spending. Riiiiiiight.

    We're not all as stupid as your reporters.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobs

      Correction: They will receive more money next year than they received THIS year.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  54. MiBigAl

    If pro is the opposite of con, progress then must be the opposite of Congress. Congress believes, "If the shoe fits, we might as well wear it. The system will never change until campaign finance laws are changed and those in real power will never allow that. So into the "Black Hole" we go!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  55. PHB

    Sorry we had to fire you, there was no other way we could afford to give ourselves a raise.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • joel

      While the timing was extremely poor, I can tell you from working on the hill, these staffers work for peanuts in one of the nations most costly places to live. Any bonus they get is well deserved. It DOES NOT go to the individual representative or senator.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Bill

    Oh, How dare you give out bonuses of any kind, To your staff or to your selves. You can't pass a damn budget, you fight like a bunch first graders, your incompetence has costs people jobs and/or loss of pay and the security of the nation.
    So this is new economic business model? Spend a bank, insurance company, a nation or a car company into debt and insolvency, then give out bonuses!! No wonder our country is going down the crapper.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  57. David Ricardo,dcsd

    Only confirming that those on the hill are out of touch with the rest of the country. They are like the gods of Greek mythology living in a cloud not bothered by mortals needs. What the should di I'd fire half the staff to force the lawmakers to actually work on the issues not just grandstand

    March 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  58. looknclick

    what would you do if you had a hand in a jar, honestly?

    March 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  59. jj

    Boo

    March 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Rich

    Some how we need to get term limits on the ballot. Send emails, or call your local representive and request that term limits be put on the ballot. I would also like to see another entry on the ballot, that stipulates we the people can fire any Politition we do not think is doing his/her Job, both are long over due.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • joel

      The only way term limits can be placed on Congress is through a Constitutional Amendment. States can not institute term limits. Term Limits Inc v Thornton (1995)

      March 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  61. bobs

    This is a mssive scandal! Congress giving bonuses to their staff BEFORE the sequester! Much more scandalous than Obama sending his teenage daughter off on a trip to New York with a bunch of her friends a few dozen secret service agents AFTER the sequester, and AFTER announcing he would end tours of the White House isn't even worthy of column space, right CNN?

    March 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • joep199

      What's your source?

      March 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • bobs

        http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/malia_and_pals_hit_chelsea_jBKV5Ho6DlKSmNuCsso6NO

        The sad part is that you are on a mainstream news networiks website and you actually had to ask.

        March 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  62. asm_ith

    It's amazing how tone deaf and hypocritical Congress can be. They properly complained about bonuses that the various financial companies were giving out after receiving tax payer money to keep them afloat. Besides, a bonus should be for accomplishing things, and it is very difficult to say that Congress accomplished much of anything. Also, money for bonuses should be from earnings which are better than expected. It's good to have money that they didn't spend but was in their budget; when they continue to complain about deficits, that money should be saved and go to their next budget. Just because they had it left over is no reason to simply spend it if they want to be consistent with pushing for deficit reduction and financial resonsibility.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • FKell

      Someone never told you the first rule in business unit budgets (which in a way this is exactly that, as each Congressman/woman is given a staff budget, and thus is in a sense a unit budget). The first rule is always spend your budget. If you saved on your budget this year by doing a good job, being efficient, lowering costs, etc., you don't get a prize, but the penalty of next year having your budget cut when you may or may not be able to repeat the same savings levels you had last year.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  63. SMH

    in a word...e·gre·gious though reason says before making an assumption; know the TRUTH or at very least the FACTS. In the infamous words of song made famous by late Michael Jackson, 'all i want to say is they don't really care about us!'

    March 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Robyn

    Once more, we see Mr. Boehner's out of control House of Cards.

    Cutting programs is good for everyone: headstart programs, children's lunches, seniors trying to keep the heat on, the poor trying to avoid losing the homes.

    Everyone, that is, except Mr. Boehner and his accomplices.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sailor101

      HEY!!! This is both parties doing this not just one or the other so don't try to slant it that way.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • McT

      The individual who had the most listed as an apparent bonus was a Democrat. You may want to check the list to see which Reps gave out apparent bonuses. I saw quite a few "Ds".

      March 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Joan Wheeler

    This is unacceptable. There should be a freeze on pay and bonuses until the economic crisis is over. Or, the minimum -wage and SS payments should be raised to match Congressional raises. Fair is fair, but these guys don't play fair.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darrel Young

      You're absolutely right. This is entirely unacceptable.

      My gripe with the government has been that they are able to see everything a citizen does from phone records, employment status, education attained, etc., but we as Americans "Land of The Free" have no idea what our lawmakers are making, or what their staff is making.

      Basically, as I learned from 6 years in the military, you either join in, or get out of the way, or you will be stomped on.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • nancheska

      I agree wholeheartedly. Interesting that there's a headline just above this blog about "spoiled kids" or something....man, that describes a whole lot of folks in Congress. If they had 1/2 and inkling of just how selfish and immature they are, they'd be ashamed. But, I think they're beyond that now....

      March 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  66. A.A.

    When the whole thing blew up in 2008, I was one of the lucky ones that worked for a company that simply said: take two weeks unpaid vacation or we'll have to lay people off. Nobody griped, nobody grumbled. Given the size of the company it may have made headlines, but I can't say for sure. Ask government workers to take a furlough, and the world is coming to an end. People working for the government need to realize they aren't granted immunity from reality simply because they work for a governmental body. Suck it up like the rest of us. And there were no bonuses that year either. Giving out bonuses after the fiscal cliff and sequestration reality shows is like paying somebdoy more for just showing up. Reality needs to sink in at all levels of government. Pay teachers for performance? what do you think Congress deserves based on their performance? Next lection comes around, there won't be a single incumbant that gets my vote. Enough already.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Very well presented, to the point and had everything anyone could, or would, want to say.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • nancheska

      I see your point, but if you are ever going to get any help from any part of the government, you may want to consider that this sequester/furlough hurts you as well. The main point here is that Congress had it written into law that their retirements can't be affected due to any furlough/sequestration, and that's patently unfair.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • A.A.

        But you missed my point. the big bad sequester is made to be an apocalypse. If you give people the option to take 2 weeks unpaid vs. laying people off, good management won't even put the choice on the table, Be a team player, suck it up in bad times and we get through it together. Yes we all suffer Don't try to rally the country ebhind you by automatically laying people off. That's cowardly, conventional 19th century management. Don't think, just cut heads. Of course we all suffer, but it doesn't have to be a catastrophe.

        March 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I understand your point, but you almost seem to come from the perspective of you are happy to see people lose 20% of their weekly salary. Many of these furloughed employees like the private sector live pay check to pay check just like you. Would have been happy to see and hear people taking joy when you had to take your two week furlough? I doubt it. These furloughs aren't impacting wealthy millionaires who don't feel it. The furloughs impact regular people that are trying to pay mortgages, car payments, day care, etc.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  67. Shawn

    When I was active duty during the "Reduction in Force" years, we were told to do more with less. We didn't receive any bonus for taking on more duties. It was "suck it up sailor". I'm all in for short term limits, eight years total like my home state govenor.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mick

      Australian defence force has been cut down to a size where our country could be over run by a group of old ladies

      March 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  68. the law

    .... do as I say, don't do as I do.... sh** heads

    March 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  69. a76marine

    Congress no longer represents "For the People" in the least.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • mick

      its worse in Australia mate.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  70. The_Mick

    I'd like to see details of "staff reductions." Did those occur shortly after staff enhancements? Today's Congressional staffs are huge compared to prior eras and they often include people like "former" VPs of pharmaceutical and banking interests to make sure bills look right!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  71. kevin

    This seems like a lot of ado about nothing. This isn't a story about the congressmen and women in the Senate and House patting themselves on the back with bonuses. It's about the people who work in those offices who are, frankly, not to blame for the state of the economy or the gridlock in Congress. I think it's perfectly fine to compensate them fairly for their service.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  72. mikael

    i dont understand when president obama lifted the pay freeze of federal workers, congress stopped it . so unless you work for congress you are screwed. my roommate works for the feds has not had a raise in 2 years and works 7 days a week.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Pablo

    How about downsizing congress. Cut it in half. That would save a ton of money.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roland

      Best idea I've heard

      March 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • joel

      Actually its about 95 million dollars. The entire federal budget is close to 4 trillion. So if we round up to 100 million dollars, we are looking at saving about 1/40,000 of the budget if I am correct. Not much of a savings when you consider the size of our debt (over 16 trillion)

      March 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      I second that.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Olliie Garch

    And what about Senate staff?

    March 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Jhonny

    Over all in my persective this government of ours is doing a poor job at making American such a great country, we were once the leaders of the world. In my eyes we were the top nation but now thanks to these people that we call our leaders American will become just another country that no body gives a damn about. The day that congresses actually use their damn knowledge to help us get out of this debt and stop giving out money to "match" the workers work than that is the day America starts to raise. Now we are falling thanks to this joke of a congress that we have. This is in the my point of you. Agree with me or not this is my reality!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  76. a76marine

    Congress has become the furthest thing from "For the People" possible.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Steve S

    Maybe it's me?
    But I'm beginning to think that many of our elected government officials, have the IQ of a CRAB CAKE???

    March 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Pablo

    Must be nice to be in a position to vote a raise for yourself. Congress is one big waste of money. They don't represent the people, they represent themselves. Voting them out of office doesn't work because they are just replaced by another scoundrel.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  79. RIcky Ricardo

    The US population is shafted by the President and the Congress. Both refuse to work on the sequester. The unemployed will loose emergency unemployment, airports will suffer, illegals freed, and other programs cut and now with a threat verbally by North Korea our defense is gutted. Ashame Ashame Mr. President and you too Behner. you are stuffed shirts and no action. yet you vote for increases for staff members. welcome to Bizarro world.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Hampton

    Politician's only care about themselves and those who help pay for their getting and then staying in office.

    We need to have an American equivalent of an "Arab Spring". If more than 1 million people march on DC and demand that corruption be removed and have our own revolution, maybe that will scare the politicians into reluctantly acting on behalf of the american people instead of their own pocket books.

    Sadly, that will never happen. Not until all our rights are gone, and we cannot fight back, and too late

    March 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mick

      even worse here in Australia mate.We are being run into the ground by a socialist dictatorship.Our free speech is being stolen by draconian laws and we don't have the right to own a sling shot let alone a gun.If you guys think your country stinks under Obama you should see what people like him are doing to Australia and its people.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hampton

        yeah, i know. Have a friend who lives in Hobart, but we are heading that way, and people here don't see it, or don't care, or think it's good. idk, The common theme throughout time is that people in power want to stay in power, and they only pay lip service to the people

        March 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  81. john doe

    So how do we put these people in JAIL? why isnt anyone doing something about this, thats the 64,000$ question.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Rich

    I have been working at the same company for 28 years. I have been thru at least three down sizing's, but managed to hold on. This is the Job I chose so many years ago. If I don't like it, for what ever reason, I have the choice to leave. Govenment has just gotten way to big, the fat needs to be trimmed. The Government should be managed much like a Business. Everytime I hear a member of Government mention the word Budget, which is every year, I just want to screem, because never adhear to it. The word budget is just a word. Everytime they mention forming a new commitee, or panel, or branch of Government, the dollars going out of my pocket keeps increasing. Home land security is one of them. How big has this branch grown to now? We have CIA, FBI, ATF, it just seems like there is a lot of redundancy in Government. About 10 years ago, I remember watching a press conference, where one of the reports asked a question that pertained to our spending issue, and the answer that was given, was that that money or what ever, came out of a different budget. Just how many budgets does the Government have. Politicions should start being held more accountable for their actions and/or lack of action.

    On a different note, NAFTA was a huge mistake, but do you think the Government is ever going to admit that. How many Jobs went over seas because of it.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hampton

      shhh, dont mention NAFTA, as that was passed by the democrat demigod Clinton. Oh, and you are right on all points

      March 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Balls of Steel

        Was that before, after, or during Monica?

        March 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Balls of Steel

      Ross Perot warned us and he was branded as being crazy.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Balls of Steel

    They deserve the bonuses. It is not easy to lie and cheat 300 million people.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  84. R.Bailey

    I'm a registered voter...... AND YOU'RE FIRED!! No incumbents for the House or Senate.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Alan

    I am a proud Navy veteran and a federal employee working for the Department of Defense. Here's the real question ... Will Congress lead by example and cut their own pay like the rest of federal employees?

    The forced furlough is another example of the great hypocrisy of our representatives in Congress!

    If Congress is going to force us to take a pay cut, they should start by looking themselves in the eye ...

    Congressional pay should be based on performance (i.e., actual voting, collective agreement to pass a budget, etc.)

    March 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Angloman

    Remember, these congresses people love to serve their country, at least thats what they say.........but just maybe the money comes first really, not the country or the people, but you are not to know that. Also, congress takes it's orders from that little country at the east end of the Med, they pull the U.S. strings and love our money, 6 billion a year i think.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Belseth

    Marie Antoinette politics. The are so separated from the average person they have no idea how such excess will be perceived. It's like cutting jobs instead of cutting wasteful government contracts.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  88. HenryB

    What a great example they set.

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

    Now isn't that peachy. There are a lot of people who are on a hard working, dedicated team. They are not getting a bonus. What an example.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  89. us_1776

    So where's the part where we put the bankers in jail?

    They did 10000x as much damage to the country as al-Qaeda.

    Remember 1987? When we put 1000 bankers in jail after the S&L Crisis?

    Now we have a situation 100x as bad but no arrests, no convictions, no nothing.

    .

    March 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Hermes 40

    See, I already said that it times for us to amend our Constitution and abolish Congress. We will replace the members of the senate with the Governors and Lt. governors of the fifty (50)states. Here the numbers would still be the same. On the Lower House it should be constituted by the mayors of major cities and if the numbers would not be sufficient, as I believe there are more 420 members of the lower house they should be selected from some municipal mayors. They would not have to travel to Washington and occupy offices in the Capitol. They have to use teleconferencing if they need to pass some needed laws. Then we do not have to pay for their health insurance as they are covered by their respective states. There would be no duplication of retirement income, as they are covered by their respective states. There would be no need of a large staff as they have staffs in their respective state. Only here we may need some stipends or bonuses.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • HenryB

      Following that rule, we then place people in Congress who were elected by the same people who elect our current Representatives and Senators. As long as we elect people like this we will get what we voted for. It really is our own fault that these people are there. They did not get there by magic. The next election vote out the three people they talked about. But we won't.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So you would just overturn the constitution while your at it – since that is what it would take? Thankfully you only get one vote.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • DC Johnny

      What you are referring to is how the original Senate was intended to be populated, had it not been for one of the worst Amendments to our Constitution. Not sure if you are aware of that or not?

      March 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  91. John

    This is just GREAT. While as a state employee in Kentucky, I haven't had a decent raise in 12 years, the last 5 have been 0% or a pay cut, and they are trying to write that 0% into law for the future! Who pays 0%... FOREVER? Working for the government ***** unless you are a big shot.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  92. darryl f. dilger

    Please take a moment and remember Your at the behest of the " Government". You earn a salary if your fortunate to be employed, and our new Government policy is to allow you a portion that we the Government will determine is satisfactory for your and our needs. CONSTITUTION, BILL of Rights OUT THE WINDOW. Be a good citizen, love and serve the country in a protection capacity, OUT THE WINDOW. Today its all about this Government getting your hard earned money so they can be flaunt it away like a twelve year old child. I LOVE MY COUNTRY but I cant find it anymore. I served my country and I lost my brother in the Viet Nam War. I feel my brother is better off. Enjoy my money all you politicians, your earned it.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Common denominator

    Well I guess we found something they agree on! Increasing their wallets

    March 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  94. jean

    The GOP: the party that dug themselves into a deep, deep grave.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • suemac47

      Now how did you pull this conclusion out of the article?

      March 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Tom Studebaker

    What a crock.... I am still looking for a job.... I have been out of work for almost a year! And they can hand out bonus? Do as I say and not as I do! It's to bad they don't live in the real world . Shame on them!

    March 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Selmers

      Just because you're a loser, and they're not, doesn't make them wrong.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • chris

        What exactly makes him a loser? not his fault its hard to find a job, not his fault he may have been laid off. You must be a corporate executive.

        March 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  96. MoMO

    MAJORITY OF CONGRESS = WHITE PEOPLE.

    white thieves are taking our money.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      Really? Someone wants to make this a race issue? This is about all of them not doing thier job. Passing a budget. I am sorry but if I have to balance my budget and that means I can't have extravegances, neither can they. Cut all the pork programs, stop giving away money overseas to "make friends" and focus the energy on fixing America before it is too late. It kills me to read – 800,000 employees going in to furlough for 20% pay reduction - but we can send $60M to Syria to help them out (give me a break!!) Your own people need you to HELP THEM OUT FIRST! vote all of them out of congress and get some new names – faces, heck I would vote for a common everyday farmer or housewife over ANY politician right now.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      What an uneducated fuck. how do you even have electricity and a computer in your third world country. Keep dacning around the camp fire in your third world country you uneducated fuck.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  97. D. B.

    We need to get a handle on these expenses. Every member of Congress has a budget of over ONE MILLION Dollars+. We have gotten to this point because we haven't been paying attention. What the hell are they spending money? I would love to see an audit of just what we are paying. It may be a very very small amount in the vast scheme of the federal government, but we have to start someplace. I say we start with the Congress who only scheduled themselves to be at work 127 days for 2013.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  98. deannhorn

    It isn't just congress! The president and his family are not curtailing their traveling or daughters trips that require a lot of secret service men. The president's golf trip cost over a million dollars.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  99. davecu

    They're soo generous with my money!
    I'm running out of that money.
    They still don't get it.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  100. jean

    I have a question for the American citizens: How much are you willing to be f...ed by these bozos?

    March 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      You can bet that everyone of them will be re-elected.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
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