What White House Staffers Make

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Thursday, July 24, 2008; 12:03 PM

President Bush's highest-ranking aides got $4,200 raises this year, bringing their annual salaries to $172,200.

The latest White House staff list is out, and you can browse the whole thing here. There are 447 people on the list, their salaries ranging from $33,400 to $172,200. (Bush makes $400,000 and Vice President Cheney makes $221,200.)

Eighteen people are listed at the uppermost "assistant to the president" level. Some familiar names from previous years are notably missing, among them former Senior Adviser Karl Rove, who left the administration last summer, and former Press Secretary Tony Snow, who died earlier this month.

Indeed, with Joseph Hagin stepping down as deputy chief of staff for operations yesterday, fully half of Bush's top stratum of advisers have been replaced in the past year. And, as you might expect in the waning days of an administration, most of the new arrivals are unknowns outside the wonkosphere -- people like chief strategist Barry Jackson, chief lobbyist Dan Meyer and chief speechwriter Marc Thiessen.

The list, which the White House sends Congress annually, is far from exhaustive, however. It does not include staff members of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, or the numerous military attaches, or the household staff.

Even more notably, it does not include staffers in the vice president's office. Vice President Cheney has consistently refused to disclose who works for him. As a result, top Cheney aides such as chief of staff David S. Addington and national security adviser John Hannah, who are paid out of the vice president's executive appropriation, don't show up anywhere in the public domain. You can find a list of the 33 vice presidential staffers who are on the Congressional payroll, by virtue of the vice president's mostly ceremonial role as president of the Senate, on the Legistorm Web site.

Among the other facts to be gleaned from the new list:

* 130 White House staffers make over $100,000.

* Raises for deputy assistants and special assistants to the president -- the second and third tier of staffers -- were more generous than the 2.5 percent raises to those at the very top tier. Most deputy assistants, for instance, got 4.6 percent raises this year, bumping their salaries up $6,500 to $147,500.

* After four years of stagnating at $30,000, the bottom of the payscale was finally raised this year to $33,400.

* There are two new high-level positions. Tom Donahue, on loan from the CIA, has the title of director of cyber policy, and Richard A. Reed is now senior director for continuity policy. There are now four people at the White House whose titles relate to continuity policy, up from two last year.

* There are fully 25 lawyers in the White House counsel's office.


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