Democrat Kenley Brunsdale charges that a promise this week by Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, to take the same pay cut federal employees may receive from possible unpaid leaves "is hollow."
He says Hansen has made similar promises in the past before elections and did not keep them."In 1980, Hansen promised us that he would `never take a pay raise.' If Hansen is re-elected this year, his salary will have increased over $60,000 from $60,662 in 1980 to about $125,000 in 1991," Brunsdale said.
"In 1982, he said that members of Congress should only serve eight years - but he is still running (for his sixth, two-year term). This is now an integrity issue. Hansen makes many promises before an election, but afterward he doesn't care.
"All he cares about is being re-elected so that he can run for the Senate or governor in 1992," Brunsdale said.
Rick Guldan, press secretary for Hansen, responded, "Brunsdale's statements are factually incorrect, and beyond that we don't care to make any further statement."
When asked to provide documentation proving Hansen's earlier statements, Brunsdale's campaign provided a press release from Hansen dated June 14, 1982, that talked about his sponsorship of bills to limit House terms to 12 years.
But Hansen said in it, "I would personally support limiting service in the House to eight years."
Brunsdale also provided a Hansen ad from the Sept. 30, 1980, Box Elder Journal that said, "Jim Hansen has never voted himself a pay raise and pledges never to give himself a pay raise at taxpayer's expense."
Hansen voted against the pay raise that the House approved this year, which increased salaries from $89,500 to $96,600, but he accepted it anyway. Approved pay raise plans should increase House members pay to around $125,000 next year.
Hansen earlier this week in a speech on the House floor pledged to take any pay cut federal workers may receive from automatic, across-the-board cuts under the Gramm-Rudman law if Congress fails to pass a budget by Oct. 1. He urged Congress to start moving to avoid such cuts.