…A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations
was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff
levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the
2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.
Congressional Republicans have been pouncing on any instance of
wasteful spending they can find, but the congressional-operations line
item will likely remain safe from their ire.
The one-tenth hike brings the budget for Congress itself to $4.4 billion….
A GOP leadership aide said it's unfair to blame Republicans for the
increase. "I just don't know how they can get away with blaming us for
that 10 percent figure," he wrote in an e-mail. "Republicans aren't
getting a dime more in committee money for staff than we got last year.
The entire pot of funding used to operate Senate committees and other
'inquiries and investigations' is around 3 percent of the total ($137
million of $4.4 billion). And the increase from last year's funding for
the 'inquiries and investigations' account is less than 2/10ths of 1
percent of the entire bill."….
A Democratic leadership aide, however, said the fact that
"Republicans aren't getting a dime more" misses the point, noting that
while they aren't getting extra, they aren't getting less, either, even
though they have far fewer members."
"This would be funny if it wasn't from someone associated with the the
so-called party of fiscal responsibility," wrote the aide. "This is the
height of hypocrisy and utterly fails to acknowledge the fact that in
the past, when the spread has been like it is now, the minority party
gets far less money than what they eventually got. It was an
unprecedented deal that is more outrageous when you realize that they
will end up voting against the bill.
A little hard to follow, but essentially this: Republican Senators, of whom there are now many fewer, are demanding that their previous – pre-election staff level not be cut.
So, in order to provide staff for incoming Democratic senators, there has had to be a budget increase.
You know, so the people who were elected have staff.
While the staff for ousted Republicans stay in their jobs, being paid, and providing an increased level of support for the remaining Republicans.
A basic WTF moment.