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Congressional Spending Report Stirs Pot

The Yankee Institute’s new study “The Care and Feeding of Connecticut’s Congressmen” has taxpayers grumbling all across Connecticut today as they learn about how their Member of Congress spends their hard-earned tax dollars.

Among the Yankee Institute’s findings:

  • Courtney was “the highest-spending member of Connecticut’s delegation” — based on his spending of 99.3 percent and 99.7 percent of his annual budget allotments in 2007 and 2008. House members get an annual office allotment of $1.3 million to $1.4 million, and must “use it or lose it.” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, spent the least of her allotment during those two years, with spending figures of 89.5 percent and 91.3 percent, the report said.
  • Courtney’s chief of staff, Jason Gross, was paid $151,411 in 2008, “making him the highest-paid staffer in the House delegation.” Gross’ salary narrowly outranked those of Democratic 5th District U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy’s staff chief, Joshua Raymond, at $149,544; and former Republican 4th District U.S. Rep. Chris Shays’ staff chief, Elizabeth Hawkings, at $148,366, the report said. Shays lost the 2008 election and was replaced in January by Democrat Jim Himes, who is not covered by the report.

The Yankee Institute’s critics have lashed out at the report. The Hartford Courant ran an article today featuring many of their grumbles, as well as a blog post on their Capitol Watch blog.

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