Sunday, February 5, 2012

HYPOCRISY: Rep. Andy Harris Awards $44,000 in Bonuses to Staff // Tea Party Official Wants to Cut Federal Workforce

FILE UNDER: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO is reporting that Maryland Congressman Andy Harris issued thousands of dollars in bonuses to his staff members last year. Maryland Juice wonders if Mr. Harris' office bartender Kevin Reigrut received a bonus, too? The news comes as the U.S. House Republicans propose layoffs to federal employees in order to prop up defense spending:
Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland gave his staffers $44,006 in bonuses last year....

Harris spent $799,896 on staff salaries last year, according to information provided by his office....

Notably, the arguments cited for Congressional staff bonuses could apply to any sector of the economy during this recession:
Many lawmakers give bonuses out of concern that their employees' pay isn't competitive with private-sector salaries, said Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union. Sepp said his organization isn't opposed to lawmakers giving bonuses.

Maryland Juice thinks these arguments may have some merit, but they sure do smell funny coming from people who think teachers, police and public sector employees are overpaid or don't need to have wages that keep pace with the private sector. His website right now prominently discusses his fiscal restraint:

Hypocrisy is nothing new for Andy Harris. Maryland Politics Watch's Adam Pagnucco pointed out in 2009 that when Mr. Harris was a State Senator, Maryland furloughed employees. Andy Harris was only one of three Maryland Senators who refused to give back some of his own pay, but likely could afford to do so.

Dear Rep. Harris: Where Is My Bonus?

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