Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Scott Brown named to Senate government affairs panel

By Ed O'Keefe

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who campaigned on the idea of freezing federal worker salaries to control the deficit, may get to explore the topic further soon.

Scott Brown
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass)

Senate Republicans announced on Tuesday that Brown will join the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, and also the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees.

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel is chaired by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and oversees the Department of Homeland Security, the Postal Service and federal workforce issues.

Brown campaigned on the idea of freezing federal salaries as a way to reign in overall government spending.

"I recognize that our federal workers do important work," he said at a January campaign event. "But, it's not right that lesser-paid private sector workers suffering through a recession have to pay for expensive government salaries." He also suggested the salary freeze during a later interview with ABC's Barbara Walters.

Federal worker unions and other public sector experts blasted his comments, arguing federal salaries are often higher than private sector wages because government workers are more highly skilled and specialized.

Brown, a 30-year National Guard veteran who currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, said in a statement that he is proud of his new assignments.

“We are currently involved in two wars, and these committees are critical in keeping our country safe, as well as protecting the men and women who defend us," Brown said. "It is equally important that the men and women in uniform receive the care and benefits they have earned through their selfless service. I look forward to working with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to carry out the important work of these committees for the good of our state and our country.”

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 2, 2010; 2:29 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Chat With The Eye!: Sen. Bunning, Post Office, Rahm Emanuel
Next: LaHood calls DOT workers back to work Wednesday


We can always get a laugh when we read or hear federal employees declarae how much more specialized theyare that those in the private sector. The hours, the wages and the benefits are almost criminal. sIf you have ever visited a federal office you were probably amazsed ta the number of persons standing around doing nothing. To get someone's attention was almost an impossible task. Federal employee numbers have risen under the Obama presidency more than at any other time. It is a wonder that there is anyone left in Chicago. Most of them are in Washington standing around collectin a salary. Brown has a good idea. But, rather than try it, we will continue to build and spend taxpayers money unless Charlie Rangle can show us a way to avoid it.

Posted by: MALBENNET | March 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Boy he is an ignorant noob. I guess he doesn't realize that all those overpaid contractors are the ones who greased his way into office.

Posted by: Nymous | March 2, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I took a pay cut to work in the government because I want to live in DC. We have some good people in our agency -- our appointees from this administration are a lot smarter than the ones from GW Bush -- but frankly we just have not attracted the most competent applicants for decades. Senator Brown can freeze pay for everyone, but that will just drive away those who could find a higher paying job -- and respect -- elsewhere. Why not work to get rid of the deadwood in the government work force and change the hiring practices so we can all get our jobs done and save some real money for the taxpayers?!

Posted by: kpdooty | March 2, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Cut federal salaries? What if all 100 senators agree to work for $1 / year and turn their salaries over and above $1 to The Treasury toward retirement of the federal debt? I understand that all of those 100 senators had to have approved at some point in some fashion the federal debt. As elected officials for their states, the senators may choose to lead by example. May so choose.

Posted by: wooddebra2 | March 2, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you can help with this Scott Brown
Kansas Senator Pat Roberts and Kansas congressionals: Brownback, Moore, Jenkins ask questions concerning BIE school: Haskell Indian Nations University.

At 1pm central time today, Senator Pat Roberts (R) from Kansas made Native American history.

See: (Add url for ljw article)

Senator Pat Roberts takes his fiduciary responsibility seriously and wonders why local Bureau of Indian Education officials aren't as honest.

From mid October Senator Roberts has been asking questions, initially posed to Secretary Salazar and others about the management practices (actually the lack of ) at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

His hard work led today to the release of a joint letter signed by all Kansas congressionals (Brownback, Moore, Jenkins) asking for clarification and reiterating that the public needs answers.

Some of those answers will hopefully cause another change of administration in Bureau of Indian Education --all around.

The dedication to finding the answers is a testament to Senator's Robert's and his staff's commitment to understand how your federal dollar (actually nearly $20 million that goes into Haskell Indian Nations University, the only 4 year university ran by The United States government ) is spent.

So, it will be interesting to see if Bureau of Indian Education finally answers.

When they do, we hope Senator Roberts has a realistic explanation for why programs have regressed or been cancelled, why student services have declined, why students and employees who ask questions appear to be at personal risk.

And why no one at Haskell Indian Nations University can tell you who's in charge.....even this minute.

Four months has been a long time to respond to a congressional office; that says a lot about how Bureau of Indian Education post secondary leadership, Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn acknowledges her responsibility to a congressman.

But the simple fact that Senator Roberts didn't stop asking is a testament to his leadership; Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn should turn this into a learning experience.

But from all indications, she will continue to lash out and allow Haskell's current acting president Venida Chenault and DanWildcat to train wreck the place.

It's time for all tribes to step in and back Senator Pat Roberts.

This blog applauds Senator Roberts efforts, his leadership and his support of Native American Education, we stand firmly behind him and his staff and the other Kansas congressionals: Brownback, Moore, Jenkins and we thank them.

haskellnews commentary March 2, 2010

Posted by: zooami1 | March 2, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"Federal employee numbers have risen under the Obama presidency more than at any other time. It is a wonder that there is anyone left in Chicago."
Any facts to back that up? From a reputable source?
One could just as easily say, in 2001, it was a wonder there was anyone left in Texas. They were all here.

Posted by: vavoter | March 2, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Kansas’ congressional leaders urging Obama administration to address leadership issues at Haskell Indian Nations University.
Kansas’ congressional leaders urging Obama administration to address leadership issues at Haskell.
he letter notes that they have been pursuing answers since October regarding concerns that include alleged “mismanagement of personnel, ethics violations” and questions about the role of the Federation of Indian Service Employees union at Haskell.

An earlier letter delivered to the Bureau of Indian Affairs has yet to receive any response, the lawmakers said, and that’s why they are seeking information from Salazar himself. The bureau is part of the Interior Department.
Related document
“To date, Senator Roberts has not received a response and other alarming reports from constituents continue to flood our offices,” the lawmakers wrote, in today’s letter to Salazar. “This lack of response to serious accusations is deeply disappointing.”

The letter goes on to note that Haskell’s president,Dr. Linda Sue Warner, remains on temporary assignment in a bureau regional office in Oklahoma City. That assignment followed an earlier temporary assignment, in September, to Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute — another school for American Indians — in Albuquerque, N.M.

While Warner remains Haskell’s president in title, others have been acting in her behalf while she is off campus. Among major administrative decisions made during her absence: canceling a visit by accreditors to review plans for two new four-year degree programs at Haskell, programs Warner had pushed for.

The lawmakers assert that there appears to be “no clear line of authority” at either Haskell or the Bureau of Indian Education, which also is part of Interior.

Posted by: zooami1 | March 2, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I think all Senators and Congressmen should take a 5% pay cut first to demonstrate their sincerity at wanting to balance the budget.

One of the reasons a highly trained person might have choosen to work for the Federal govt (instead of going for the higher salary in private industry that was offered up to just a few years ago) was job security. Now that the stuff has hit the fan, all of a sudden, they're considered overpaid! There are plenty of goof-offs in the private industry and there are plenty of hardworking people of integrity working for the Federal government. Anyone that chooses to stereotype only demonstrates their ignorance.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | March 2, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Scott Brown wants to freeze salaries! Okay Scott, why don't you reduce your salary back to your state senator's salary? Why don't you ask your bubble-headed blond news anchor wife to take a cut from her salary? How about asking your American Idol, Ala giving up her softball scholarship to Boston College. You are a typical political fraud. You want everyone else to suffer while you continue to reap in benefits. You did not get elected because you are a man of the people. You won by default, the democrats in Mass. came up with the worst possible candidate who was arrogant and not very likable. You are only keeping the seat warm for the remainder of Teddy's term. After that it is back to driving that sorry old truck for you.

Posted by: fedupgemp | March 3, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Senator/LTC Brown to be credible and demostrate your leadership on this issue, I would suggest you first give up your congressional and [current and past]military salaries, both of which contribute to the deficit; then your proposal to force upon the federal workforce more of the economical misery brought about by the actions of the previous administration, could be given some serious consideration. Until then, just talk to the hand, because we are not listening!

Posted by: xarmydrill | March 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company