Saturday, January 17, 2004

Today's Hoot!

Gephardt Must Pay Salary Back to Missouri Taxpayers
Law requires absentee members of Congress to return paycheck

According to the U.S. Code, Presidential candidate and former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt is required to pay back 90 percent of his $157,000 salary to Missouri taxpayers. Absentee Member Gephardt has missed more than 90 percent of votes in the U.S. House, and the law requires the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House to dock a member's pay for each absent day. ACU filed a suit earlier today demanding that the law be enforced. American Conservative Union chairman David A. Keene called Gephardt's absences, "a callow shrugging off of the responsibility every Congressman has to his constituents, all to appease his desire for presidential power."

ACU also demanded that Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman repay 59 percent and 54 percent of their salaries, respectively, however Keene noted that, "no one has ever abused this law as badly as Dick Gephardt."

2 USC Sec. 39, reads: "The Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House … shall deduct from the monthly payments (or other periodic payment authorized by law) of each Member or Delegate the amount of his salary for each day that he has been absent from the Senate or House, respectively, unless such Member or Delegate assigns as the reason for such absence the sickness of himself or of some member of his family."

"Can you name another job in which someone can consistently miss nine out of every 10 days and still receive a full paycheck," asked Keene. "Unless Dick Gephardt can produce a note from his doctor, he owes the taxpayers an explanation or back pay."
(Hat tip: FR) While I like the idea, maybe we could make an exception for some of the Congresscritters and pay them to stay away?