By Susan Crabtree - 10/25/05 12:00 AM EDT
Since Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was indicted by a Texas grand jury and stepped down from his position as majority leader last month, the division of labor in the House Republican leadership has become a little fuzzy.
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), for instance, insists he is only serving as majority leader on an interim basis, and DeLay still retains many of the trappings, as well as much of the power, associated with the No. 2 leadership job he left behind.
Still, there is at least one tangible sign of their altered states: Blunt got a raise while DeLay’s salary took a direct hit.
When he stepped down as majority leader, DeLay was forced to take an $18,000 pay cut, which reduces his yearly salary from $180,100 to the $162,100 that rank-and-file members receive, according to House officials and his spokesman, Kevin Madden.
That cut amounts to roughly $1,500 a month before taxes and benefits are deducted. Blunt’s salary, meanwhile, has jumped $1,500 to account for his majority-leader responsibilities, House officials and Blunt spokeswoman Burson Taylor confirmed.
Only two other House leadership positions come with salary stipends: The Speaker receives $208,100 and the minority leader receives $180,100, according to the House clerk’s office. The rest of the members of the leadership team on both sides of the aisle receive the same $162,100 salary as all rank-in-file members, although they have much higher office budgets to provide for the additional staffers and overhead involved in the jobs.
One knowledgeable House official said that DeLay’s pay cut took effect Oct. 1 because that was the first time changes could be made to the payroll but that this month’s salary would be reduced further to adjust for the last two days in September when DeLay received the higher salary even though he was no longer majority leader.
DeLay stepped down from his leadership post Sept. 28 after a Texas grand jury indicted him on charges of participating in a fundraising conspiracy with political associates to funnel corporate donations to Texas Statehouse candidates. Using corporate money to fund state candidates is illegal in Texas.
Blunt was tapped as interim majority leader the same day DeLay was forced to give up the post, so his October salary will also account for the two days last month when they were operating in the different roles, the House official said.
After he stepped down, DeLay moved out of his spacious Capitol leadership suite to far less prestigious and convenient quarters in the Cannon Building. Members of his staff, however, continue to work for the majority leader’s office out of the same suite they occupied when they worked for DeLay.
DeLay also maintains his security detail and the use of his ceremonial office, located off the Speaker’s Lobby.