Tester slashes tax-funded pay for contractor executives

Senator: Execs ‘shouldn’t be making more than President’

(GREAT FALLS, Mont.) – A Senate panel is following Senator Jon Tester’s lead and cutting in half the amount of taxpayer dollars that go to executives of government contractors.

The federal government limits the amount of a government contract that can be used to pay top executives.  But that cap has more than tripled since 1995, far outpacing the rate of inflation.  Reports indicate that it was recently increased to allow executives to be paid up to nearly $800,000 in taxpayer dollars – almost twice the salary of the President of the United States.

That didn’t sit well with Tester, who worked with the Appropriations Committee to cut the executives’ tax-funded pay in half.  Tester said current economic conditions should make executives more accountable to taxpayers – not less.

“At a time when our economy is rebuilding and Americans are still looking for work, it is imperative that we make responsible decisions about the use of every taxpayer dollar,” said Tester, who also recently cut the salary of the Postmaster General.  “These executives shouldn’t be making more than the President – they need to be held accountable.”

The salary cap limits the taxpayer contribution for a firm’s top five officials. 

Tester noted that lowering the cap will not hurt a company’s quality of work or its ability to offer competitive salaries, as it only limits the share of taxpayer dollars going toward an executive’s salary.

The salary cap is set by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, which is guided by Congress.

Tester is a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee.  In addition to including Tester’s salary cap provision in a larger committee bill, the committee also approved Tester’s legislation to improve transparency and save taxpayers money by modernizing campaign finance reporting.

Tester also recently wrote a letter to Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), the leaders of the Senate’s Financial Services Subcommittee, calling for action to cut the executives’ taxpayer-funded salaries.  It is available online HERE.