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Representative Tom Reed Issues Bonuses to Congressional Staff
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Tom Reed, Republican Representative, awarded end of year bonuses to 15 of his 17 congressional staffers ranging from $500 to $2,500. It is up to lawmakers to hand out bonuses to their staffers, and the majority of them do so each year.

On the other side of things, freshman Republican Representative Ann Marie Buerkle, from Onondaga, said that she was not going to issue end of year bonuses to her staffers. Instead, she said she would return the 10 percent remaining budget to the Treasury.


“It’s consistent with us asking the American people to just tighten their belts,” Buerkle said. “I think that’s a good message. At least that’s consistent to what we’re saying about cutting spending.”

Freshman Representative Kathy Hocul (Democrat from Erie County) and veteran Representative Louise Slaughter (Democrat from Fairport) are the other members of the New York congressional delegation who decided not to issue end of year bonuses to their staffers.

Freshman Republican Representative Richard Hanna, from Oneida County, decided to hand out $500 bonuses to each of his staffers.

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Chief of Staff Jay Dutcher and Deputy Chief of Staff Vicki Hook, from Reed’s staff, were not issued bonuses because they are Reed’s two highest-paid employees. Dutcher was paid an annual salary $165,000 through the end of September while Hook was on pace to earn $90,000.

“We wanted to do the bonus structure below that level,” Reed said. “The bonuses were based on performance and on individual merit.”

Despite paying out the bonuses, Reed did say that there was still money leftover in the budget that he can return to the Treasury. The exact amount of remaining money will be announced by Reed at a later date.

“It will be a significant amount,” he said.

Part of the office budget for Slaughter will also be returned to the Treasury.

“More often than not, she’s able to return some of her funding back to the Treasury,” Slaughter’s spokeswoman, Victoria Dillon, stated in an email. “As for this year, we know that there will be more expenses before the billing year ends, but as of right now we have $165,000 left and she hopes to return as much of that to the Treasury as she can.”

Members of the House receive budgets each year worth roughly $1.4 million. The value of the budget varies based on factors such as market rates for local office rentals, the distance of a congressional district from Washington, and the number of household mailing addresses within the district.


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