In a press release issued moments ago, Rep. Jim Bridenstine reveals what a story in the Oklahoman today asserts is “secret” staff and explains why expertise was recently added.
The Oklahoman’s Chris Casteel wrote this morning, “Rep. Jim Bridenstine put a former tea party group leader on his office payroll for six months to do a ‘confidential’ project that cost at least $64,000 in salary payments alone…
Casteel wrote, “House records show the Tulsa Republican’s office paid Dean Clancy nearly $44,000 from late August through the end of 2014 and called him ‘special projects manager.’ Sheryl Kaufman, Bridenstine’s press aide, said Clancy was paid another $20,000 this year. Clancy ‘provided expertise and oversaw a major legislative analysis and development project of a confidential nature. The work product has not been released.’”
“Clancy also described his work as confidential, and he referred to it as a six-month contract with the congressman. However, House members aren’t allowed to contract with people or companies for tasks related to legislation. Kaufman said Clancy was employed as a full-time staff member,” Casteel continued.
Bridenstine’s press release follows:
The federal debt ceiling expired March 15th, but Treasury Secretary Lew announced he would use “extraordinary measures” to continue spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimated Treasury has the ability to continue spending through October or November.
Bridenstine said his office has been working on an analysis of alternatives to raising the federal debt ceiling. He brought in Dean Clancy, an expert in budget analysis who has worked in the White House in three Republican Administrations. He worked at the Office of Management and Budget in the George W. Bush Administration and has been on staff in both houses of Congress. He most recently worked as Vice President, Public Policy for FreedomWorks, a conservative think tank.
Bridenstine said, “Balancing the budget requires difficult choices and these choices deserve serious consideration. Our country requires us to make these choices to ensure our future prosperity. We are not on a sustainable trajectory right now.”