James Rowen
Op Ed

You Pay Them $3,300 a Week, They Oppose $600 For You

Every Republican member of Congress from Wisconsin opposed pandemic relief bill.

By - Dec 27th, 2020 12:15 pm
Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The same Wisconsin GOP congressional members who regularly protected Donald Trump when he pandered to Vladimir Putin and fueled the pandemic just further stained their reputations.

Most self-respecting officials at least try to avoid being on the wrong side of double standards.

Particularly if the people being dissed or clipped happen to be constituents who may be out of work or coughing up blood in the ICU.

But Wisconsin’s political environment has been damaged since Scott Walker and the Tea Party took control in 2011 and handed E-Z passes to Congressional seats gerrymandered by their Wisconsin legislative colleagues who also have comfort levels unaffected by normal human deterrents like conscience or shame.

Taxpayers pay members of Congress $174,000 annually – which is just just over $3,300 weekly though sessions can run Tuesdays-through-Thursdays – and also fund office expenses and perks – including travel – which average between $1.3 million-to-$3.47 million annually.  Yet every member of Wisconsin’s Republican Congressional delegation including U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, the champion self-dealer, voted against the COVID and stimulus funding package recently passed by Congress which will send one-time $600 checks to many taxpayers. (President Trump has threatened not to sign the bill unless it increases the one-time payment to $2,000, which would be even more offensive Wisconsin’s GOP members of Congress.)

Though greater US unemployment, poverty and hunger have accompanied the pandemic and were worsened by executive branch failings and Trump’s ego-driven blundering, other countries have been providing greater assistance, NBC has reported.

For the record, Wisconsin’s GOP Congressional delegation also voted “no” in lockstep on the previous COVID aid bill in March.

No extra credit is awarded for consistency.

One more thing: If you think you’re done paying for Johnson’s service, think again: he will be able to draw a generous pension in the range of $60,000 per year, which is the current rough average being paid out now annually to more than 600 retired members of Congress, according to this 2018 official report. But allocating $600 to help a person suffering from a historically drastic pandemic — that, according to Johnson and his fellow Wisconsin Republicans, we simply can’t afford.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment.

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Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

4 thoughts on “Op Ed: You Pay Them $3,300 a Week, They Oppose $600 For You”

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    Rojo has a direct flight to Moscow after the 21st.

  2. Thomas Martinsen says:

    Honorable Senator Johnson,

    Please allow the distribution of $600 each for your constituents. That “measly” amount could make some of us feel better in the short term about the hundreds of thousands of dollars we have awarded you for doing nothing in the senate.

    Sincerely yours,


  3. Jaimcb says:

    You said it, Jim. Now I’m wondering if anybody’s listening. Since mainstream media has been ignored by those who get behind (fueling and funding) the likes of Johnson, why would you think they’re reading this?

  4. James Rowen says:

    Thank you for reading this. I don’t know how far the audience goes. I’m just relying to make the record. jim

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