Bryd death benefit draws fire

"This was a blatant display of Washington cronyism at its worst," said Lawrence Hunter, the group's president, in prepared remarks. "I would applaud a charitable act from our elitists in the Senate, but not one senator took a thin dime out of his/her pocket. They took it out of ours!"   

Hunter has called on voters who are equally outraged to sign an online petition to show their discontent with the move. The petition can be found at

The payout was a part of legislation that funds the federal government through Dec. 3, which Congress approved shortly before leaving town to campaign for the upcoming elections. Senate rules indicate that following the death of a member the next appropriations bill will pay the survivors one year of compensation. 

Hunter disagrees with the rule. 

"If the Senate feels so strongly about paying the family a death bonus, then perhaps they should pool their own money and pay it out of their pocket instead of burdening the taxpayer," he said.