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America’s most distinguished leaders get their hair cut at the Senate barbershop, but taxpayers are the ones really getting clipped.
The barbershop ran almost $300,000 in the red last year but received an infusion from Senate coffers that is keeping it in business, the Senate sergeant at arms, Terrance Gainer, told The Daily.
A federal bailout isn’t that unusual since the economic downturn, but some senators didn’t even know their salon was in hot water — and don’t think it should be, considering what they pay for a little off the ears.....
Former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Ill., blames the money woes on the stylists, who are federal employees. He contends they’re overpaid compared to their private-sector counterparts.
“They are using union labor, and so their benefits and wages are higher than those of many jobs,” Fitzgerald said.
Capitol’s four barbers and stylists made $22,000 to $30,000 last year with no benefits, manager Lynn Dang said. At the Senate barbershop, formally called Senate Hair Care Services, the top four barbers and stylists made more than twice that — $54,761; $70,349; $73,658; and $81,641 — plus they have a generous 401(k) plan, health care and paid vacation. In all, the government contributed $230,000 in benefits for the barbershop, said Eve Goldsher, a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Regardless of where they stand on lending the barbershop a financial hand, senators agree the barbershop is first rate.