Complaints about Congress don't entirely have merit

To the editor:

While being correct about the congressional salary, I disagree with letter writer Phil Prew (April 17) regarding his other complaints about Congress. We are asking Congress to do an extremely high profile job, but paying far less than an average corporate executive, all while being incorruptible. It seems to be anything but a recipe for success.

Congressmen do not fly for free for personal travel. While the taxpayers may pick up the costs of business flights for congressional delegations, much like an employer paying for business travel, they do not always have access to free travel.

The gym membership has not been free since 1992. In fact, it costs $400 per year. Insider trading may well be an issue, but as the lack of prosecutions indicate, it is a difficult allegation to prove. Mr. Prew offers no specific proof of this claim.

There is no specific time frame established in the Constitution for Congress to work. It is not a 9-to-5 job, and simply because Congress is not in session does not mean its members are not working. Representing the people requires making one's self available to them, both in DC and their local offices.

Congress has access to federal employee insurance, which members pay for. However, they may also obtain coverage through the exchanges, or be covered by a spouse's plan.


Mr. Prew is right that they get very little done. If that is objectionable, perhaps he could present himself at one of their local offices on one of their 239 "days off" to "petition the government for redress of grievances" as the First Amendment allows.

Brian W Barnett, Glendale