Vitter Threatens To Stop Pay Raise For Interior Secretary Over Lack Of Oil Permits

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Senator David Vitter (R-La.) is threatening to block a nearly $20,000 pay raise for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, over the Secretary’s seeming unwillingness to issue more permits for deepwater oil drilling.

According to an article on FoxNews.com, Vitter sent a letter to Salazar, voicing his complaints about the Secretary’s inaction.

“Given the completely unsatisfactory pace of your department’s issuance of new deepwater exploratory permits in the Gulf, I cannot possibly give my assent,” Vitter’s letter read, according to Fox. Vitter claimed that, of the 14 deepwater permits issued by Salazar’s department since the BP oil spill disaster in April 2010, “only one was for a truly new well.”

Salazar’s current salary is $180,000, which is less than that of all the other Cabinet members. “The reason he makes less than other secretaries is because a constitutional provision bars lawmakers from accepting an administration salary that they voted on. Since Salazar voted to raise secretary pay as a former Colorado senator, he had to accept a lower level of pay when he entered the Cabinet,” the article read.

“The history behind your pay raise proposal and the insider support it may have here in Washington is irrelevant. Mr. Secretary, the fact is your polices and your department’s mismanagement of permits is causing more Gulf energy workers literally to lose their jobs every day,” Vitter’s letter read

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