Barkley Calls on Senators to Return Vacation Paychecks
For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Truscott
PLYMOUTH, Minn.—Dean Barkley, an Independence Party candidate for U.S. Senate, called on Sens. Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar to return their $13,766 paychecks for their August vacation because Congress has failed to deliver on the most pressing issues facing the American people.
"If everyday Minnesotans don't perform at work, they don't get paid," Barkley said. "But our congressional delegation—and their colleagues from across the country—are collecting handsome paychecks for doing absolutely nothing. This is a chance for Coleman and Klobuchar to come together in a bipartisan manner and say members of Congress shouldn't be treated any differently than the American people they represent."
Nationwide, taxpayers are shelling out nearly $1.4 million in salary to senators and another $5.9 million to members of the House of Representatives during the month-long August recess. Meanwhile, Americans await long-overdue action on balancing the federal budget, addressing the energy crisis and ending the costly and wasteful Iraq War.
"It's as though members of Congress have decided to go ahead and start taking their pension checks early," Barkley said. "I realize Congress sees itself as 'exclusive,' but this kind of self-indulgence is really over-the-top and out-of-touch. It really helps explain their 14 percent approval rating."
* * * * *
Barkley, 57, served as the director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long Range Planning under Gov. Jesse Ventura. In November 2002, Ventura appointed Barkley to fill the final two months of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone's term.
The former governor said recently that Barkley is "measured minute by minute … the most effective U.S. senator in Minnesota history."
More information is available online at www.senatorbarkley.com.