Responding to the question of whether John Boehner will keep a tight leash on the troops, Patrick O’Connor responded to The News Hub by saying, “Actually no, he’s not….. (they will be) Doing more symbolic legislating than real legislating. They are going to pass a package of cuts, I believe on Thursday or Friday, that would trim operating budgets for member offices, committees and leadership staffs; $25-$35 million, a pittance when you are looking at a budget of $3 1/2 trillion.”
A scoffing tone can be heard in the term pittance, in light of the first cuts that Boehner desires to make. And it may be a mere molecule in the cosmos of Congressional spending, but it is in fact, a movement toward decreasing the budget. If a message is to be sent to those who hired this new Congress, a message of personal belt tightening is a good way to begin. The newly elected, who elect to cut their own pay, may well then be trusted to cut those things not quite as near and dear to them.
“There has to be a visible gesture that people can immediately relate to,” said Pete Sepp, the executive vice president of the conservative National Taxpayers Union.
“And cutting pay would be one of the best symbols, because unlike virtually anything else the federal government does, when Congress spends money on its own salaries and benefits, people can make a direct comparison to their own situation,” Sepp said.
Pittance or not, cutting one’s own pay to demonstrate the new direction of this Congress is a smashing way to start their new inning.