On Thursday, Representative Claudia Tenney proposed an amendment to House Resolution 4664 that would reduce President Joe Biden’s press secretary’s salary to $1 for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2024.
The New York representative said that while serving as press secretary, Ms. Jean-Pierre “repeatedly misled the American people, behaved condescendingly toward reporters, and violated the Hatch Act.”
As Tenney offered her amendment, she cited a number of what she claimed to be incorrect assertions made by Jean-Pierre. Tenney alleged that Biden’s press secretary had made many false comments, including that illegal immigration had decreased during Biden’s time, that former President Trump’s 2016 election had been “stolen,” and that Biden’s stimulus plan had not boosted inflation.
As evidence, Tenney pointed to an Op-Ed Jean-Pierre wrote in which she stated that “pro-Israel policy principles are not progressive values,” a stance that, according to Tenney, not even Democrats would endorse.
The proposal was met with swift opposition from Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), who called it “another unserious amendment.”
The House of Representatives also voted earlier this week to approve an amendment reducing Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s pay to a dollar. They also voted in favor of a measure in September that would have reduced Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s compensation by the same amount.
Additionally, the GOP attempted to push an amendment that would have cut funding for Vice President Kamala Harris’s office.
It’s unclear why this is occurring now other than a desire to publicly show how much they disapprove of the authorities’ work. It would be unwise to make a pattern of not paying someone because they are disliked. But there could be a case for it if it’s meant to hold responsible federal officials (whom Congress can’t fire).
Such an argument has its hazards. If the other party were to gain power, they may use this example as a precedent to use the wages of unpopular Republican officials as a political weapon.