White House Moneymakers

Reportedly high salaries for staffers


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Money Makers

Some spent the long holiday weekend, adding up the salaries of White House staffers.

The Los Angeles Times reports 454 aides are earning a combined total of more than $37 million this year. Those figures are up since 2008, by seven staff members and nearly $4 million.

Almost a third of the White House aides earn at least $100,000 a-year and 21 receive the maximum of $172,000.

Money's Worth?

Members of Congress are paid pretty handsomely as well, even though some work days are easier than others.

Friday, the Senate completed a pro-forma session that lasted 25 seconds -- 25 seconds -- before dismissing for the holiday weekend. The Hill reports it still counted as a full day of work. That might have something to do with why the Los Angeles Times found the 112th Congress to be one of the least productive in recent years based on votes taken, bills made into law and nominees approved. From January to May of this year, 16 bills became law compared with 50 during that period last year and 28 in 2007, also a time of divided government.

The Senate and House this year have taken roughly half the number of "yea and nay" votes as in 2007.

Starting the Clock

And, that Friday session that lasted just 25 seconds was because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to start the clock ticking on the resolution to authorize President Obama's action in Libya.

Senate rules say legislation must be on the table 30 hours before it sees a vote. However, as we told you earlier, late today Reid pulled the Libya resolution to move on to a non-binding, symbolic bill calling for a tax hike on millionaires.