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Congress / CONGRESS

Conflicting GOP Messages on Pay Cuts

Eric Cantor.(Lauren Carroll)

December 20, 2010

Many Congressional Republicans who are leading the charge to freeze federal salaries are being asked whether they practice what they preach.

Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has boosted his congressional office's payroll by 81 percent since coming to Congress in 2001.

Republican Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has, for months, pushed legislation to freeze what she calls "unconscionable" federal salaries. But her own payroll jumped 16 percent between when she came to Congress in 2007, and 2009.


Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has long criticized federal pay, but his office employee costs have jumped an average of 8 percent per year between his first year in the Senate, in 2006, and 2009.

Some of the lawmakers say they were simply going along with the budget allowances that Congress sets each year for its members. And some say they're trying to hire the best staffs they can.

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