Lautenberg “death gratuity” granted, eliminated, and now granted again

More salt on the wound today. Bonnie Englebart is the wife of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Pa.) with a current net worth exceeding $50 million. The American taxpayers will write the widow Lautenberg a tax free check for $174,000 as a “thank you.”

This is so friggin’ wrong on every level. Back on Sept. 20 we learned…

The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve a large appropriations bill that includes a $174,000 payment to the widow of the wealthy Sen. Frank Lautenberg, according to a Washington watchdog group.

We also learned this is standard operating procedure for the federal government concerning the death of someone while serving in Congress.

Back on Sept. 29, the outcry was heard and the House cancelled the check. At the time, sequestration was at full-tilt and the debt limit was less than three weeks away.

After an outcry, the House has dropped a $174,000 payment to the widow of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg from its stopgap spending bill.

Paying a death gratuity to the spouses of lawmakers who passed away while in office has been a common practice, and both the House and Senate had included the money in previous versions of their year-end spending bills.

But an ethics group questioned the payout to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, wife of the late Democratic senator, who was worth an estimated $56.8 million, according to Roll Call’s 2012 survey of lawmakers’ wealth.

As a gift, the money would have been tax free.


Tucked amid the funding measures found in the Senate’s bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling is a payment to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, widow of late Senator Frank Lautenberg.

The Senate resolution includes a $174,000 tax-free payment to the widow of the New Jersey Democrat who died June 3. At the time of his death, Lautenberg was worth an estimated $56.8 million.

That post from today mentions the Sept. 20 news, but totally forgets the fact the House rescinded the check on Sept. 29.

I have no respect for Congress. None. Zero. Our federal government is totally out of control. Remember, all of these continuing resolutions are only supposed to fund the federal government at the previous level. Where did they come up with the $174,000?

Don’t give me the “she’ll donate the amount to charity” crap. This is OUR MONEY. I did not authorize Congress to hand over my money to the widow Lautenberg so she can hand it out as she deems appropriate. I’m putting the federal government and all taxpayers on notice, if Lautenberg does hand over the full amount to charity, I’m the one who gets to write it off on my taxes. I call dibs.

5 replies
  1. SeeingRed
    SeeingRed says:

    As soon as ANY spending bill is even discussed, PORK is included from a waiting list.? This ‘payment’ is in spite of what tax-paying citizens wish to happen…the other 50%?? They vote Democrat, religiously.

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    It is a golden goodbye suck off the government teat.?? A small parting gift for sleazing in to fill the Torricelli spot for the DNC.

  3. bien-pensant
    bien-pensant says:

    Where did the $58.6 million come from? Hmmmm.
    I am always amazed that our “public servant’s” net worth only increases while “serving.”
    Being a Senator is akin to becoming a Prince or Princess of the Realm. The deference given these people are given, the perks that they enjoy, the privileges that they are given, all of that far exceeds what they actually do for the citizens. These people are treated like royalty.
    A resounding “NO!” to the $174k gratuity. It is obscene.

  4. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    It’s a damned shame there aren’t more specific death gratuity issues to be mulled over- considering what the service of most congress critters is costing taxpayers while there’s still a pulse.

  5. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Amazing that Democrats succeed at bleeding the system even after death. ? At least Lautenberg’s vote won’t have to change after death!

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