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Congress felt they did such a wonderful job in the last couple of years that they handed out bonuses. For real.
I'll bet you didn't even know that House members could give bonuses to their staff. They can. And they did. In the millions.
25 House members bumped up their staffers' salaries by 50% or more in October through December last year. Retiring Representative Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida gave her staff an average golden handshake of 120% of their salaries. Five House members more than doubled their staffers' salaries.
We examined a dozen states. Here are some of the worst when it comes to doling out big bonuses. Tennessee's Zach Wamp handed out 40% as did Mike Conaway of Texas. Iowa's Bruce Braley dished out 43%. Maryland's Frank Kratovil gave a 47% increase. Brad Miller in North Carolina, Charlie Wilson of Ohio and Oklahoma's Dan Boren gave 50%. Melissa Bean in Illinois was generous with your money to the tune of 81%. Amazingly, four in Florida boosted staffers' pay between 76 and 120%.
It's shameful. Americans are struggling. Millions are unemployed. And Congress behaves as the privileged class. They are modern day Marie Antoinettes.
We have results for Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
To see results for these states go here.
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