GOP has taken control of the House and they promised to do many things and so far they have done nothing that would indicate they have any concern for this country and its people.
They have removed the metal detectors in and around the House and their most recent ‘improvement’ was to allow smoking…..
There’s a lot of history repeating itself in Congress this year — the House is in GOP hands, Democrats control the White House and Senate and there’s an inescapable stench of tobacco smoke in the Capitol’s hallways.
The smoke evokes memories of the old guard of Republican House leadership. Former House Speaker John Boehner smoked so many cigarettes that new carpets, a fresh coat of paint and an ozone machine were required when Paul Ryan took over his office.
Going further back, David Dreier, a GOP chairman of the House Rules Committee in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was fond of cigars. Today it’s another Rules chairman — Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma — who can often be found smoking in the committee’s space on the third floor of the Capitol.
This makes the US Capitol one of a handful of places in Washington, DC, and among the few remaining office buildings in the country where smoking is still allowed inside. Despite efforts going back more than 150 years to prohibit tobacco from the building, smoking is still allowed in members’ offices.
The Capitol, and the surrounding congressional office buildings, are federal property but operate independently of other government buildings and many rules — including those about smoking and pandemic procedures — are at the discretion of House and Senate leadership.
This makes the old image of the ‘fat cat’ lighting his cigar with 100 dollar bills….
I can hardly wait to see what is the next move to improve government the GOP has on tap.
I did not have to wait long…..it seems if they have their way they will get a $34,000 raise.
In one of their final acts in power, House Democrats secretly passed through a rule change that will see lawmakers in the lower chamber get a $34,000 pay raise.
The new rule, proposed by Democrats on the House Administration Committee, allows House members to be reimbursed for the cost of lodging, food and travel while on official business in Washington DC.
It was tucked into the House’s internal rules, rather than in annual spending bills, and therefore was not debated on the House floor, according to the New York Times.
Under the new rule, House members could be subsidized about $34,000 for their expenses in DC, where they live for weeks on end. That means that if all 440 current members and delegates requested the maximum amount, the reimbursements would total around $15.1 million.
Members of the House already earn an annual salary of $174,000, an amount set in 2009, which has not changed since even as the cost of living increased.
Additionally, House members get annual allowances averaging $1.27 million to staff and manage their offices as they see fit, and while members of Congress are required to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act, they receive a subsidy amounting to 72 percent of their premiums, according to Axios.
The federal lawmakers are also eligible for lifetime health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.
And depending on the member’s age and length of service, he or she could also receive a lifetime pension of 80 percent of his or her salary — amounting to $139,200 a year.
Not bad salary and benefits for a group that are basically part-time help.
Have a good weekend my friends.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”