Senate CR Keeps $174K Payment for Lautenberg Widow

The Senate Democrats' stopgap spending bill amendment would strip out the House's Obamacare defunding language but preserve the $174,000 payment to the widow of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.

The payment of a year's salary to lawmaker's spouses in the next appropriations bill after they die has long been a custom of Congress, but the House's inclusion of a $174,000 payment to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg drew a strong reaction in light of Lautenberg's vast wealth at a time when lawmakers are cutting funding for food stamps and other programs.

Lautenberg had been No. 8 on Roll Call’s 50 Richest Members of Congress with a net worth of at least $56.8 million before his death.

The full text of the CR amendment was posted by the Senate Appropriations Committee here.