Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 27, 2015

Senate CR Keeps $174K Payment for Lautenberg Widow

The Senate Democrats’ stopgap spending bill amendment would strip out the House’s Obamacare defunding language but preserve the $174,000 payment to the widow of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.

The payment of a year’s salary to lawmaker’s spouses in the next appropriations bill after they die has long been a custom of Congress, but the House’s inclusion of a $174,000 payment to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg drew a strong reaction in light of Lautenberg’s vast wealth at a time when lawmakers are cutting funding for food stamps and other programs.

Lautenberg had been No. 8 on Roll Call’s 50 Richest Members of Congress with a net worth of at least $56.8 million before his death.

The full text of the CR amendment was posted by the Senate Appropriations Committee here.

  • Layla

    It draws a sharp response from the American people, as well. It’s very kind of the Senate to have an arrangement like this for widows, however that should be done out of your OWN pockets. The taxpayers should not be funding this money to a woman who is wealthy beyond measure. This shows the incredible amount of lack of understanding of the plight of the American people at this time. WE ARE NOT WORKING! YOU did this. For those of you up for reelection, expect to lose your jobs next year, both sides. Our government is out of control and if the Congress won’t rein it in, then the American people will. In 2010, over 750 elected officials lost their elections due to voter anger. That number will be much higher next year. We cannot live on the meager crumbs you are allowing us to keep. Therefore, you must be removed from office. Plan accordingly, please.

  • Jackie Hill

    Are you fuc#ing kidding me. This is not right. That fuc&ing family has access to $58,000.000.00 and my tax dollars are just going to be handed to this family.
    This is why my kids schools are so messed up.

  • chinacat26

    That sucks. Progs wonder why the rw is so pissed at our caucus sometimes. There is no reason for this. Even if denying is symbolic, it sends the right message

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