Millionaire Congressman silent on his record of Wall Street bonuses
(and his own pay raises) in latest political stunt
Congressman Dennis Rehberg is telling Montanans today that taxpayers shouldn’t provide “seed money for bonuses for corporate fat-cats,” but his record in Congress tells a different story.
Rehberg, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, actually voted against a bill that would have barred any recipient of the 2008 Wall Street bailout from paying “unreasonable or excessive” compensation to executives [HR 1664, Vote 182, 4/01/09].
“Montanans won’t tolerate being lectured by Rep. Dennis Rehberg, a millionaire developer who opposed reforms to clean up the mess on Wall Street and make sure the financial crisis never happens again,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “After 30 years as a politician, Congressman Rehberg has a long record of putting Wall Street ahead of Montana, and no Montanans will be fooled by his lip service.”
Congressman Rehberg has also used his power to protect government subsidies for Big Oil and offshore tax corporate shelters, the proceeds of which often go to CEO bonuses [Guardian, 3/3/11]. And he’s used taxpayer dollars to enrich himself.
“If Congressman Rehberg wants to talk about taxpayer-funded compensation, he’ll have to answer for his five votes to raise his own pay,” added Dick.
Here’s some of what Congressman Rehberg has done to funnel taxpayer dollars into CEO’s pockets, and his own:
PROTECTING BIG OIL SUBSIDIES — In February 2011, Rehberg voted against an amendment that required oil companies that hold royalty-free leases allowing them to drill for free on the public’s offshore lands to renegotiate those leases so that the public is paid the standard royalty charged for drilling. (GAO estimates that closing this loophole could save up to $53 billion over 25 years). [HR 1, House Roll Call Vote #109, 2/18/11]
PROTECTING OFFSHORE TAX SHELTERS — In 2002, Rehberg voted against an amendment to stop corporations from re-incorporating in offshore tax havens, such as Bermuda, to create shell corporations as a way to avoid paying U.S. taxes. The amendment was defeated 186-192. [HR 4931,Vote #247, 6/21/02]
Rehberg has voted himself a taxpayer-funded pay raise five times:
- By $3,300 in 2006. (H RES 865, Vote #261, 6/13/06; Congressional Research Service, Salaries for Members of Congress: Congressional Votes). This pay raise was later blocked by the Democratic Congress in 2007.
- By $3,100 in 2005. HR 342, Vote #327, 6/28/05)
- By $4,000 in 2004. (H Res 770, Vote #451, 9/14/04)
- By $3,400 in 2003. (H. Res. 351, Vote #463, 9/4/03)
- By $4,700 in 2002. (H. Res. 488, Vote #322, 7/18/02)