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Pelosi to grant severance packages to GOP staff

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Published: Wednesday December 6, 2006

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Incoming Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will offer severance packages to the staff members of the outgoing House GOP leadership, according to an article in today's Roll Call.

The story, reported by Susan Davis, reveals that while Senate staff have often been offered severance packages in the past when the body's majority changed over, the Republican Party did not grant this courtesy to Democrats when they assumed the majority in 1994. Severance pay will be provided to GOP House staff, starting on January 4, 2007, for up to two months or until individual staff members find new jobs. The assistance will only be given to key leadership staff and not to rank-and-file staff members of the House's new minority party.

Pelosi has decided that the severance packages are needed to encourage professional staff members to continue working on Capitol Hill.

The full article is accessible to Roll Call subscribers at the paper's website. An excerpt is provided below.


But while the Senate often grants severance packages to outgoing leaders as a sign of comity in that chamber, Pelosi is extending the courtesy to significantly more outgoing aides — a kindness that was not offered to Democrats when the GOP swept into the majority in 1994.

“All we got were boxes,” the Democratic aide quipped.

While aides to outgoing Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) likely will benefit from a severance deal, it does not extend to rank-and-file Republicans, or to outgoing members of leadership like House Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (Ohio) or Conference Vice Chairman Jack Kingston (Ga.).

The estimated number of aides it would affect, and the projected cost of the payout, were not available at press time.

The aide said Pelosi believed a severance package was in order so as not to discourage prospective future professional committee aides from taking jobs on the Hill and as a courtesy to outgoing staff.