House Republicans are on a roll in a crusade to cut federal spending by trying to slash the salaries of Biden administration officials.
Their latest target is the president’s main spokesperson: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
On Thursday, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) introduced an amendment to cut Jean-Pierre’s salary to $1.
“I rise today to offer an amendment to reduce to salary of Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, to $1,” Tenney said.
She continued, “She has repeatedly lied to the American people and acted in a condescending manner toward reporters, and also violated the Hatch Act.”
Watch the video below:
First amendment is from Rep. Tenney is to reduce KJP’s salary to $1 pic.twitter.com/0kOZi1Bs4B
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 9, 2023
Earlier this week, the House passed an amendment to slash Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s salary to $1. In September, the House passed a similar amendment as well to cut Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s salary to the same amount.
It’s not really clear why this is happening now, other than to express their extreme disapproval of the officials’ job performance.
If the idea behind this is that we don’t like you and want to strip you of your salary, that doesn’t set a good precedent. But if it is an effort to hold federal officials, whom Congress cannot fire, accountable there could be an argument for it. If officials are not getting fired for falling down on the job, why should they continue to earn their full salary?
Of course, such an argument has its risks. Once the other party wins a majority, they could take that precedent to weaponize the salaries of Republican officials they do not like, and then paychecks become part of the political game.
It also raises the risk that good and well-meaning people will not want to take jobs in the federal government if they are concerned lawmakers can just cut their pay to $1 on a whim.
Given that these amendments are not likely to pass, these efforts are kind of funny if for no other reason than their performative nature and their utter futility.
Yet with the world on fire and a looming government shutdown roughly a week away, is this really the best use of time for Republicans’ time in the majority?
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.