Sunday, May 22, 2011

Salazar Deserves to be Fired, Not Given Pay Raise

Did you know that Interior Secretary Salazar draws a lesser salary than the other cabinet members? It is due to the fact that he was a sitting U.S. Senator when he accepted the position.

Thanks to a constitutional quirk, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar makes less than most of his colleagues in President Obama’s Cabinet, and a Republican senator says he’ll keep it that way, blocking a nearly $20,000 raise for the high-level appointee, until the administration approves more deep-water oil drilling.

Mr. Salazar’s salary is set at $180,1000, which is $19,600 less than most other Cabinet secretaries. The Constitution prohibits legislators from taking positions in the executive branch for which they raised the salaries, and since Mr. Salazar voted on pay levels when he was in the Senate, he would have been barred from taking the Interior job unless the salary was reduced back to its earlier rate.

His Senate term would have expired in January, though which means he’s once again eligible for the higher pay rate.

Though he has not requested a raise in salary personally, his buddy Senator Reid tried to get it done for him last week.

Fortunately, GOP Senators are on it. Led by Louisiana Senator Vitter, Reid got nowhere fast. “Every day, Interior’s policies are costing more Gulf energy workers their jobs. But the Interior secretary needs a raise? That’s ridiculous — it’s offensive,” Mr. Vitter said in a statement to The Washington Times. “I’ll do everything I can to block his raise until Gulf energy workers are at least where they were in terms of work and job security pre-BP. I really want to see new deepwater exploratory permits being issued at pre-BP levels over a 3-month period.”

His Senate term would have expired in January, though which means he’s once again eligible for the higher pay rate.

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison entered the conversation by delivering the GOP Weekly Address.

In the weekly Republican radio and Internet address, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, complained the administration's policies remain too restrictive. She says the country "needs a long-term policy that provides energy from our own ample natural resources."

She said it's not enough to just talk with gasoline prices around $4 a gallon.
Hutchison says policies need to be in place to "cut the bureaucratic red tape and put Americans to work doing it."

Secretary Salazar has deliberately destroyed offshore oil and gas drilling in our waters. He continues to work to do more damage. He continues to ignore a federal judge's orders to end the moratorium and its restrictions to new exploration and drilling.

Secretary Salazar needs to be fired, not rewarded with a pay raise.

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