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GOP to House committee staff: no severance pay

HOUSE Republicans showed no mercy when lame-duck Democrats sought farewell pay for their soon-to-be-unemployed committee staffers.

Rep. Norm Mineta (D) of California wanted to extend up to 60 days' pay to the hundreds of aides who will lose their jobs when control of Congress shifts to the GOP in January.

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Incoming Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) of Georgia, delegated dealings on the topic to Rep. John Boehner (R) of Ohio, his transition team's personnel chief. Mr. Boehner said there was nothing to talk about. ``They all knew on Nov. 9 that their jobs were going to be in jeopardy,'' he said Wednesday. ``Most Americans who lose their jobs don't get 60 days' worth of severance pay.''

Rep. Ben Cardin (D) of Maryland, who heads the Democrats' transition team, said he was talking with the Republicans' transition team leader about severance pay and the need to keep some veteran staffers around to train their successors.

``I think there is widespread support in this House about applying the same type of practices to Congress as would be applied in the private marketplace,'' said Mr. Cardin. ``The common practice in the marketplace is that when you terminate workers, you provide some degree of severance pay or deal with their uncompensated leave.''

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