Senators Propose New Cap on Contractor Pay

November 18, 2011

As the Senate nears consideration of the Defense authorization bill, three senators have added a new wrinkle to the ongoing debate over the level of contractor executive compensation that should be reimbursed with taxpayer dollars.

On Thursday, Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., introduced an amendment that would lower the current cap from nearly $700,000 for top executives to $400,000 (the level of the president's pay), while extending the cap's reach to all contractor employees. The Obama administration this fall proposed setting the cap at $200,000 for top executives.

"Especially in these difficult economic times, there is no reason taxpayers should fund government reimbursements for private contractor salaries that are over three times the pay earned by Cabinet secretaries," Boxer said in a statement. "Contractors are free to pay their employees whatever they want, but there must a common-sense limit on how much they can earn when taxpayers are footing the bill." 

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