Biden’s West Wing payroll near $50M, highest on record

The Biden administration’s Executive Office of the President (EOP) has 560 employees and a payroll of close to $50 million — the highest of any administration in at least 12 years, according to data released Thursday.

While President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are making their legally specified annual salaries of $400,000 and $235,100, respectively, more than 250 other officials are making at least six figures this year.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki, for example, is one of 22 West Wing employees pulling in a taxpayer-funded salary of $180,000.

Other prominent figures making the same money include Chief of Staff Ron Klain, national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, Domestic Policy Council Director and former national security adviser Susan Rice, current National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and senior adviser Neera Tanden — whose nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was famously sunk by her mean tweets.

However, the salaries of those high-ranking officials are exceeded by those of two others: immigration policy adviser Molly Groom, who makes $185,656; and senior policy adviser for broadband Elizabeth Hone, who pulls in $183,164.

The Biden administration’s staggering $49.6 million payroll topples both Obama and Trump’s administrations.
The Biden administration’s staggering $49.6 million payroll topples both Obama and Trump’s administrations.
AFP via Getty Images

At the other extreme, the EOP employee count includes 36 unpaid members of Biden’s commission that is examining potential reform of the Supreme Court.

According to the website, the Biden administration’s $49.6 million payroll is the highest of any administration in any year going back to 2009, just edging out the inflation-adjusted $49.4 million spent in Barack Obama’s first year in office.

By contrast, in the final year of the Trump administration, the EOP had 413 employees and a payroll of $41.7 million.

“The total number of employees and total salaries in this year’s report are indeed higher than in past recent reports,” a White House official told Politico in a statement. “The White House increased the number of staff in [fiscal year 2021] to support staffing the government through a transition and to meet the incredible needs that were apparent at the beginning of the Administration, most notably, the global pandemic.”

Since 1995, the White House has been required to deliver an annual report to Congress listing the title and salary of every office employee. In the report released Thursday, the Biden administration touted itself as “the most diverse administration in history” and noted the less than 1 percent pay gap between women (average salary: $93,752) and men (average salary: $94,639) serving in the administration.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, the gender pay gap in the first year of the Trump administration was 37 percent, while the gap in the first year of the Obama administration was 16 percent.

With Post wires

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