Tax-free Per Diem for members of Congress in the works


Friday, March 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Politicians in the U.S. House are planning to give themselves daily, tax-free payments of $165 - without taking a vote. Just two months ago, salaries for members of the U.S. House and Senate were raised to $145,100 a year. Now, Democratic and Republican leaders are working to enact a tax free "per diem" expense allowance of $165 per working day. With about 151 legislative days per year, the raise would amount to a $25,000-a-year, tax-exempt pay hike ($43,000 if the money were taxed normally).

What is different about this matter, and alarming to many, is that instead of putting the matter to a direct vote, Congressional leaders delegated the power to approve the raise to the House Administration Committee.

The House Administration Committee normally performs administrative functions such as handling the payroll and health insurance for Congressional employees and the Library of Congress. But House leaders have bestowed upon the panel's six Republicans and three Democrats the power to immediately enact the $165 per diem simply by declaring that their House colleagues are "eligible" for it.

If you would like to inform your Congressional representative of your thoughts on the $165 per day tax free per diem, there is a listing below of Oklahoma Congressional contact information. The listings for Congressional representatives outside the state of Oklahoma are the 9 leaders of the project, and have the most influence over the decision.


U.S. Sen. Don Nickles
133 Hart U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
202-224-5754
e-mail senator@nickles.senate.gov

409 S. Boston Ave. Suite 3310
Tulsa, OK 74103
918-581-7651

1914 Lake Road
Ponca City, OK 74604
580-767-1270

100 N. Broadway Suite 1820
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
405-231-4941

711 S.W. D Ave. Suite 202
Lawton, OK 73501
580-357-9878


U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe
453 Russell
U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510
202-224-4721

1924 S. Utica Ave. Suite 530
Tulsa, OK 74104
918-748-5111

1900 NW Expressway Suite 1210
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
405-608-4381

P.O. Box 1148
McAlester, OK 74502
918-426-0933

The Continental Center North
302 N. Independence Suite 104
Enid, OK 73701
405-234-5105


U.S. Rep. Steve Largent
106 Cannon
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-2211
e-mail ok01.largent@mail.house.gov

2424 E. 21st St. Suite 510
Tulsa, OK 74114
918-749-0014


U.S. Rep. Brad Carson
317 Cannon
U.S House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-2701

215 State St. Suite 815
Muskogee, OK 74401
918-687-2533

403 W. First St. Suite 300
Claremore, OK 74017
918-341-9336

34 A. St. NE Suite 202
Miami, OK 74354
918-542-5337

U.S. Rep. Wes Watkins
1401 Longworth
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-4565
e-mail wes.watkins@mail.house.gov

118 Carl Albert
Federal Building
McAlester, OK 74501
918-423-5951

1903 N. Boomer
Stillwater, OK 74075
405-743-1400

115 S. Broadway
Ada, OK 74820
580-436-1980

U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts
1007 Longworth
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-6165
e-mail rep.jcwatts@mail.house.gov

2420 Springer Drive Suite 120
Norman, OK 73069
405-329-6500

711 SW D Ave. Suite 201
Lawton, OK 73501
580-357-2131

U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook
2404 Rayburn
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-2132
e-mail istook@mail.house.gov

117 W. Fifth St.
Bartlesville, OK 74003
918-336-5546

105 S. Fifth St.
Ponca City, OK 74601
405-762-6778

5400 N. Grand Blvd. Suite 505
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
405-942-3636

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas
438 Cannon
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-5565
website: www.house.gov/lucas

500 N.Broadway Suite 300
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
405-235-5311

Federal Building
721 W. Broadway Suite C
P.O. Box 3612
Enid, OK 73702
580-233-9224

2728 Williams Ave. Suite F
Woodward, OK 73801
580-256-5752

703-A. Frisco
Clinton, OK 73601
580-323-6232

The main numbers for the Congressional switchboard are:

  • 202-225-3121
  • 202-224-3121


Here are the members of the House Administration Committee:

  • Robert Ney, Ohio (Chairman) (202) 225-6265
  • Vernon Ehlers, Michigan (202) 225-3831
  • John Mica, Florida (202) 225-4035
  • John Linder, Georgia (202) 225-4272
  • John Doolittle, California (202) 225-2511
  • Thomas Reynolds, New York (202) 225-5265
  • Steny Hoyer, Maryland (Ranking Minority Member) (202) 225-4131
  • Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania (202) 225-4001
  • Jim Davis, Florida (202) 225-3376