Times are tough.
But not for Montana’s only representative in the U.S. Congress, Dennis Rehberg (R-Ranch Subdivision LLC), who takes home three times the salary of an average family of four in Montana with his congressional salary of $174,000 alone. And that’s not including the money he makes from his massive real estate development, his inheritance, his investments, or the cash he stands to win from his lawsuit against the citizens and firefighters of Billings, Montana.
So when the excellent reporters at NewWest.net wrote that Rehberg is refusing to support a congressional pay cut proposed by a bi-partisan group of Western lawmakers, I was beyond astounded.
Of the bill’s 29 co-sponsors, six are from the Rocky Mountain West:
Reps. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ; Cynthia Lummis, R-WY; Betsy Markey, D-CO; Walt Minnick, D- ID; Jared Polis, D-CO; and Harry Teague, D-NM. At publication time, only Lummis, Minnick and Simpson had responded to our calls for comment. Simpson’s spokesperson, Nikki Watts, told NewWest.Net that Simpson intends to support and vote for the bill. Denny Rehberg, D-MT, who is not a sponsor, was also contacted, but has not responded to the question of whether or not he’d vote for the bill.
UPDATE: After publication of this article, Rehberg sent his statement to NewWest.Net: “As a rancher, my pay is tied directly to my bottom line. It shouldn’t be any different in government. The federal government is running huge deficits and we need to cut spending across the board and that includes cutting congressional pay.” Pressed to say directly whether or not he would vote for H.R. 4720, Rehberg’s office declined further comment.
Yeah, because if he said he was going to support a congressional pay cut, it will look really bad for him later when he votes against it.
Remember, Rehberg was the they guy who voted several times in favor of padding a defense appropriation to buy the elite $550 million dollar luxury jets to fly lawmakers around. The ultimate luxury perk, these jets are powered Rolls-Royce engines and feature divans that transform into double beds, telephones, pop-up 26 inch LCD monitors, fax machines, DVD players, multiple oversized restrooms and a full service galley.
Check back soon for the next installment of our Congressman’s attempts to get even richer with our money.