Manchin calls for halt to pay hikes for military contractors
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has received support from public interest groups for his effort to stop exorbitant, taxpayer-funded salaries to military contractors.
Manchin said these salaries come at the cost of hardworking uniformed service members and a strong military.
“It’s time we get contractors’ salaries back in line with what we pay our courageous service men and women,” Senator Manchin said.
Manchin’s effort was endorsed recently in a letter from the leaders of 10 organizations involved in public interest advocacy, government accountability, research and labor.
The letter to congressional leaders called for lowering the compensation cap of military contractors from $763,029 to $230,700 – the same cap proposed under Manchin’s amendment to the annual defense spending bill this year.
The letter states: “With budget cuts and sequestration looming it is fiscally irresponsible to allow private contractors to charge escalating and exorbitant rates to the government.”
The letter adds: “Since 1998, the compensation cap on government contracts has more than doubled. Over the past dozen years, the increase in allowable government compensation to contractors has outpaced inflation by 53%.”
The percentage increases were far more than the increase in pay for military personnel, while the pay of other federal employees was frozen, the groups noted.
Senator Manchin said the letter reflects his own argument – that “there’s no justification for the overuse of overpriced private contractors, particularly when it comes to protecting our country, particularly when we can’t even get a reliable figure on how many private military contractors we have.”
“It doesn’t make any sense that taxpayers are paying some contractors twice as much as we pay the Commander-In-Chief, and three to four times as much as the Secretary of Defense,” Manchin said.
“Clearly, there’s some fat we can trim when we’re paying more than three quarters of a million dollars a year to some private military contractors,” he said.